James Holmes defense, prosecutors resume evidence battle
Ryan Summerlin October 22, 2013
CENTENNIAL — James Holmes returns to court for another round of skirmishes over what evidence can be used against him when he goes on trial for the Colorado theater shootings.
Pretrial hearings resume Monday as defense lawyers and prosecutors argue over any scrap of evidence that could be used to bolster or weaken Holmes’ claim that he was insane at the time of the 2012 Aurora shootings.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70. His lawyers say he was having a psychotic episode.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but first they must convince a jury Holmes was sane — that he knew the difference between right and wrong. Trial is scheduled to start in February.
On Monday, attorneys are to argue over whether statements Holmes made to police can be used as evidence.
The defense contends police illegally kept Holmes from seeing an attorney for more than 13 hours, and that anything he told officers in that time can’t be used against him. A former Holmes attorney has testified she tried to tell police they could not speak to him. Police said they questioned Holmes anyway, without his attorney present.
Last week, police acknowledged they knew that two attorneys had asked to speak with Holmes after his arrest and that Holmes had asked for an attorney.
Prosecutors argue police had a duty to ask Holmes about possible accomplices and about bombs found at his apartment because lives were in danger. The prosecution says police couldn’t wait until after Holmes met with a lawyer.
Attorneys are to argue this week whether Holmes’ telephone and bank records and items seized from his apartment can be used as evidence.