James Holmes Defense Team Wants Hospital Exam Video To Bolster Insanity Plea


James Holmes is attempting an insanity defense in the Aurora shooting trial, and his lawyers are now trying to get a key piece of evidence they say will support his claim.

Lawyers for the shooting suspect are demanding that the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office give up a video showing James Holmes under psychiatric care in Denver. They said the video shows him spending days at Denver Health Medical Center, often in restraints, after he was committed.

The lawyers say Holmes was committed under a law for people in psychiatric crisis, which would bolster their claim that he was insane at the time of the killings. A videotape was reportedly made during his stay, but a motion filed Tuesday by Holmes’ attorneys said the sheriff’s office has failed to give up the tapes.

The clinician who will perform the court-ordered mental health examination also wants access to the footage, The Associated Press reported.

“He expressly stated that video footage of Mr. Holmes while he was hospitalized at Denver Health is relevant to his sanity examination, and that he would like to view this footage,” Holmes’ attorneys wrote in the motion.

The Aurora shooting trial already has several other complications. Prosecutors have identified 3,500 potential witnesses, leading the defense team to ask for more time to review all 83 pages of names.

“The additional time required is not only because of the sheer volume of witnesses endorsed by the prosecution, but because counsel have been working diligently on other important and necessary matters,” Holmes’ legal team explained.

James Holmes faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder, and other crimes after the July 20 attack in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead.

After his legal team made an unsuccessful attempt to claim that Colorado’s law for pleading not guilty by reason of insanity placed an undue burden on defendants, James Holmes finally did enter an insanity plea.