Aurora Theater Shooting

James Holmes case: Judge gives trial go-ahead, defense wants more time to enter plea

A judge has ruled that there's enough evidence to try alleged Aurora theater shooter James Holmes for murder.

Holmes is accused of killing twelve people and injuring seventy others by opening fire at the Century 16 theater on July 20. He'll be back in court Friday at 9 a.m. for a hearing, at which time his defense attorneys are expected to ask for more time to enter a plea.

Holmes is charged with 166 crimes, including 24 counts of first-degree murder and 140 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

In a lengthy ruling (on view below) that followed a three-day preliminary hearing, Judge William Sylvester found probable cause to believe that Holmes committed all of them. The case can now proceed to trial. In the meantime, Holmes will be held without bail.

Sylvester set an arraignment -- a hearing at which a defendant enters a plea -- for Friday at 9 a.m. But Holmes's attorneys say they are "not prepared to proceed to arraignment" on Friday. Their statement came in a motion (also on view below) in which they object to allowing the media to take photos and record video and audio at Friday's hearing, which the judge previously characterized as a status hearing/arraignment.

Cameras haven't been allowed in the courtroom since Holmes's first court appearance on July 23, three days after the attack. On that day, Holmes appeared dazed and as if he were struggling to stay awake. At subsequent hearings, a sketch artist has been permitted to draw Holmes, who has appeared relatively more alert.

In their motion, Holmes's attorneys requested that his arraignment be postponed. Sylvester said he'll consider the issue at Friday's hearing. If he decides to proceed with the arraignment, cameras will be allowed in the courtroom. If he delays it, they won't.

Westword plans to be in the courtroom and will post updates on Latest Word.

Continue to read the judge's order and the motion from Holmes's attorneys.

Order Re: Preliminary/Proof Evident Hearing

Objection to Expanded Media Coverage

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "James Holmes: Read a timeline of his actions before and after Aurora theater shooting."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar