The trial of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes has already been postponed twice -- and now, Holmes's defense team is hoping to convince the judge in the case to push it back a third time. The reason, according to a document filed yesterday and on view below, is the need for additional time to review a second sanity evaluation of Holmes, who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Holmes is accused of killing twelve people and injuring seventy others during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at the Aurora Century 16 theater in July 2012.
As our Melanie Asmar has reported, Holmes' trial was originally scheduled to get underway this past February. However, the proceedings were postponed in November 2013 after prosecutors in the case asked that Holmes be given a second sanity evaluation. Holmes's first evaluation reportedly reached three conclusions, and the 18th Judicial District DA's office asked that he be reevaluated about one of them -- a request granted by Judge Carlos Samour.
The next trial date was set for October 15 -- a week ago today. But in July, Samour again agreed to a postponement request after Dr. William Reid, the examiner tasked with conducting evaluation two, asked for more time to complete his work. Hence, the current trial date of December 8.
Now, the second evaluation has been submitted. But Holmes' defense attorneys, represented by chief trial deputy state public defenders Daniel King and Tamara Brady, as well as deputy state public defender Kristen Nelson, have asked for more time to digest the material. Here's an excerpt from their motion to continue the trial:
As an initial matter, defense counsel require more time to review and process the lengthy videotapes and all of the supporting documentation (which they have not yet received) from Dr. Reid's evaluation. There are simply not enough hours in the day for defense counsel to not only watch, but mentally process and digest 22 hours of forensic interviews of their client, review all of the supporting documentation that has been requested but not yet supplied by CMHIP, flesh out all of the legal issues involved, and draft all of the motions that will need to be drafted concerning Dr. Reid's report by October 29, 2014.
Several passages in the document have been redacted, but allusions remain about "significant new issues" raised by the latest evaluation and a promise that "there will be extensive litigation as a result." And yes, the word "will" is italicized in the original.
Judge Samour has given the prosecution until today to file a response to the latest motion, with the defense team told its reply to that filing must be in as of Thursday, October 23. He's expected to rule after that about whether to push back the trial date again.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Here's the latest document.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.