James Holmes, 25, the young man who is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 58 in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater was arraigned today. Assumptions were made that his attorney, Daniel King, would enter a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity”. That did not happen.
King, who was about 30 minutes late because of heavy snowfall, asked for a continuance, that he and his client were not ready to make a formal plea. The judge entered the standard “not guilty” plea for him.
Holmes’ attorneys may still enter the insanity plea, but it will be dependent on the judge’s review.
When King asked Judge William Blair Sylvester for a delay of the arraignment, families and friends of the victim sitting on one side of the courtroom audibly sighed. When Judge Sylvester decided that the arraignment would proceed, one man raised his arms in victory.
Prosecutors will decide if the death penalty will be sought by April 1st. An attorney not involved in the case was unsure if it would be the right move.
“There are a few reasons they wouldn’t go for the death penalty; the most important one being his mental state,” Beller said. “The Supreme Court, and really society, has been very clear: We don’t execute people who are mentally ill.”
Families of those slain were generally in agreement that Holmes was not mentally incapacitated at the time of his actions.
Jessica Watts, whose cousin was killed, said she does not believe Holmes is insane.
“Absolutely not. This was months and months of planning and thousands of dollars spent on his part in order to pull this horrific night off,” she said.
Investigation by fedral agents discovered Holmes began buying guns in May 2012, two months before the attack. He allegedly built an arsenal of two Glock handguns, an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun and 6,295 rounds of ammunition.
In addition, authorities contend, the former University of Colorado doctoral student dyed his hair fiery orange and apparently visited the AMC movie theater, taking photographs of hallways and doors, two weeks before the shooting displaying acts of premeditation.
Columnist-The Guardian Express