Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Dark Knight shooter to plead insanity

James Holmes

James Holmes will issue an insanity plea to answer charges of murder and attempted murder stemming from his theatre massacre in Aurora, Colorado last July.

The 25-year-old is charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder. Each charge includes two counts per person of the 12 people killed when he opened fire during the July 20 showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

He is also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder, two for each of the 58 people injured during the heinous shooting spree. Holmes also faces weapons charges.

His lawyers revealed in a court filing on Tuesday plans to formally ask for a change of plea at a hearing next Monday.

In March Holmes’ legal team offered to issue a guilty plea on behalf of their client if prosecutors agreed to drop the death penalty in exchange for life in prison, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors rejected the offer.

The judge presiding over the case had previously entered a not guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf on March 12.

The murder and attempted murder counts have been split into two categories to give prosecutors two options to get convictions.

A trial is scheduled to begin in February 2014.

Holmes will face the death penalty if found guilty.

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