A Denver-area judge accepted the not guilty by reason of mental insanity plea entered by Aurora movie theater suspect James Holmes Tuesday morning (June 4).
According to a report from KDVR, when asked if he had any questions about the consequences of an insanity defense, Holmes simply responded, “No.”
Holmes stands accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others last July. Against Holmes’ objections, the original judge on the case, Judge William Sylvester, entered a guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf in March when the accused gunman’s lawyers asked for more time to consider their plea.
After prosecutors announced their intention to seek the death penalty in the case, Sylvester said he would allow the defense to change its plea if it could be proved that such a change was warranted.
After a changing of judges — Judge Carlos Samour Jr. is now presiding — and several weeks of arguments, including several made by Holmes’ defense that Colorado’s insanity plea laws are unconstitutional, Holmes’ change in plea was finally accepted Tuesday.
The next step will be a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, which could take months.
The trial is scheduled to start in February.