5 Things to Know as James Holmes returns to court - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

5 Things to Know as James Holmes returns to court

Posted: Updated:
Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com Photo Credit: MGNOnline.com

By DAN ELLIOTT
Associated Press

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes returns to court Monday for a closed hearing on whether he should get a second psychiatric evaluation. Holmes is charged with the July 2012 Aurora shootings that killed 12 people and injured 70. Here are five things to know about the case so far:

1. WHERE THINGS STAND: Holmes' lawyers acknowledge he was the shooter but say he was, and still is, mentally ill. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation at the Colorado state hospital last summer. The findings haven't been made public, but prosecutors want their own experts to do another evaluation, claiming the doctor who conducted the first one was biased.

2. WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK: The two sides will argue about whether Holmes should undergo another evaluation. Victims, the general public and reporters won't be allowed to attend; the judge says publicizing the testimony could influence potential jurors and make it impossible for Holmes to get a fair trial. Witnesses will include the psychiatrist who evaluated Holmes at the state hospital.

3. WHAT'S AT STAKE: A verdict on whether Holmes was insane could determine if he lives or dies. If he is found insane, he can't be executed and would be committed indefinitely to the state hospital. If he is found sane and convicted, he would be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole. Both sides are fighting fiercely over any evidence that would influence a jury either way.

4. WHAT'S NEXT: Sometime after this week's hearing, the judge will decide on another sanity evaluation by prosecution experts. That could help determine whether prosecutors keep pressing for a trial in hopes of getting a death sentence or possibly opt to negotiate a plea deal that would put Holmes in prison for life.

5. WHY IT'S TAKING SO LONG: Holmes' trial was to start in February, but the judge postponed it indefinitely while the two sides argue over a second sanity evaluation. In a death-penalty case where the defendant pleads insanity, multiple hearings are required to resolve complex legal questions, including what evidence can be introduced, what jurors can be told and what rights the defendant surrenders by pleading insanity.

___

Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing child found stuck inside claw machine

    Missing child found stuck inside claw machine

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:28 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:28:10 GMT
    LINCOLN, Neb. (CBS News) -- A little boy is safe after an unexpected play date inside a claw machine. A 24-year-old woman called 911 on Monday night to say her 3-year-old son had disappeared from herMore >>
    LINCOLN, Neb. (CBS News) -- A little boy is safe after an unexpected play date inside a claw machine.More >>
  • Avoyelles business to get $1.3 million loan

    Avoyelles business to get $1.3 million loan

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:36 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:36:24 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will present an Avoyelles Parish business with a $1.3 million Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan.More >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- An Avoyelles Parish woman with a successful business in Bunkie will now have the opportunity to start another business in the small community. It's thanks to her hard work and the help of the government.More >>
  • Man arrested for bringing marijuana inside Rapides Courthouse

    Man arrested for bringing marijuana inside Rapides Courthouse

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:23 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:23:40 GMT
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On Tuesday April 15, at approximately 8:50 a.m., a deputy assigned to Courthouse Security was working the metal detector when a subject that was attempting to enterMore >>
    ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - On Tuesday April 15, at approximately 8:50 a.m., a deputy assigned to Courthouse Security was working the metal detector when a subject that was attempting to enter the courthouse for business, kept setting off the detector.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KALB. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.