DENVER (AP) – The judge in the Colorado theater shooting case put a new sanity evaluation for defendant James Holmes on hold Tuesday until defense lawyers’ objections can be resolved.
The defense has filed three motions saying Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. misinterpreted the law and made other errors when he granted a prosecution request last month for a new evaluation.
It wasn’t immediately clear how long it would take to resolve the objections or whether that would delay the trial, now scheduled to start in October.
The defense motions were filed late Friday but weren’t disclosed until Tuesday, and the contents have not been made public. Samour summarized them in his order Tuesday but said the contents of the motions – and part of the title of one – would remain sealed.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack on a suburban Denver movie theater. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Holmes underwent a mandatory sanity evaluation last summer. The key findings haven’t been made public, but prosecutors asked for a new evaluation, saying the doctor who conducted the first one was biased.
Samour ruled the first exam was inadequate and ordered a second.
The new exam was to be finished by July 11 and Holmes’ trial was to start Oct. 14 with jury selection.
Separately, defense lawyers accused Samour of harming Holmes’ right to a fair trial by redacting some passages but not others in rulings and motions.
In a motion filed Friday and made public Tuesday, the defense requested that both sides be allowed to argue for or against proposed redactions.
Samour denied the request as impractical and defended his practices. He said he was carefully protecting Holmes’ rights while giving the public as much information as possible.
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