DENVER (AP) – Most trial witnesses in the Colorado theater shooting will not be allowed in the courtroom until they are called to testify, the judge ruled Monday.
Judge Carlos T. Samour also barred witnesses from discussing the case with each other.
James Holmes is scheduled to go on trial in February on multiple charges of murder and attempted murder in the July shootings at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Twelve people were killed and 70 hurt.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Samour’s order applies to the trial and pretrial hearings.
Samour has not yet ruled on a related request by prosecutors to allow victims to attend as much of the trial as they want, whether or not they are called as witnesses.
Also awaiting Samour’s ruling is a request by the defense for an order allowing Holmes’ parents to be in the courtroom during the trial, although there has been no indication that they might be called as witnesses. They have attended several pretrial hearings.
Samour also said Monday that spectators would be barred from wearing clothing or carrying pictures or other items that could influence the jury, or making audible comments during the trial.
He said a notice with the order will be posted outside the courtroom and on the backs of all the seats in the gallery.
Samour’s ruling noted that appeals courts have barred victims’ family members from wearing T-shirts with pictures of the victim and the words “In loving memory.”
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