Colorado Shooter Holmes Hearing Ends With No Plea
James Holmes, the accused gunman in a movie theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises”, made a brief court appearance again on Friday, a day after he was ordered to face trial. His lawyers asked for more time to prepare for a plea for the charges of shooting 12 people to death and wounding others.
The Colorado state court judge granted a defense request to postpone arraignment for the former doctoral student in neuroscience. This was meant to give his legal team more time to study the evidence and testimony presented during a preliminary hearing earlier this week, says Reuters.
The arraignment was set for March 12.
After Friday’s brief proceedings, a spectator sitting in the section reserved for victims and their families shouted:
“Rot in hell, Holmes!”
Holmes gave no response.
William Sylvester, the Judge, held a private conference with lawyers in the hallway and addressed the outburst, admonishing Steve Hernandez, whose daughter had been one of the massacre victims, and offered condolences:
“I can only begin to imagine the emotions that are raging. I’m truly sorry for your loss.”
Hernandez humbly replied:
“I meant no disrespect to the court. no further outbursts.”
Followed three days of wrenching testimony about the shooting preceded the ruling, along with the shooting’s bloody aftermath and the preparations that Holmes is accused of making, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Colorado shooting stands as one of the deadliest in US history and one that ranked as the most lethal in 2012, up until 20 children and six adults were killed last month at Sandy Hook.
Once Holmes offers a plea, prosecutors will have 60 days in which to decide on the death penalty.