Defense attorneys say theater shooting suspect is mentally ill
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes is mentally ill according to the public defenders representing him. They said in court Thursday they need more time to assess his illness.
The information came during a court hearing where news organizations went before the judge to ask to have documents in the case unsealed.
Defense attorney Daniel King told the judge his team needs more information from prosecutors and investigators. He said defense attorneys cannot begin to assess the nature of Holmes’ mental illness until they get full disclosure of all documents.
Some observers say the suspect had the same dazed and disconnected look he had during his first court appearance.
FOX31 Denver and many other news organizations were asking the judge to unseal court documents and scale back a gag order that prevents officials at the University of Colorado from releasing information about Holmes. He dropped out of the school a few weeks before the shooting.
Holmes, 24, is accused of murder 12 people and injuring 58 others during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie at the Century 16 theaters on the east side of the Town Center at Aurora mall.
Chief District Judge William Sylvester says he hopes to rule on the media’s request to have documents unsealed by Monday. Prosecutors argue unsealing the documents would jeopardize their investigation.
When court documents are sealed, it’s difficult for the public to know what investigators have found out and how the case is progressing.
Holmes told police when they arrested him after the massacre that he had rigged his apartment near E. 17th Ave. and Paris St. with explosives. Experts spent the better part of two days dismantling the booby traps so they could get inside.
A court filing reveals Holmes is being evicted because the accusations of murder against him, as well as the damage caused inside his apartment are violations of his lease agreement, according to his landlord.
If Holmes or his representative does not come remove his belongings from the apartment, they will be placed on the curb of the street.
The judge will hold a hearing on Wednesday where the landlord will likely be granted control of the apartment. An eviction would then have to be scheduled with the sheriff before any other action can take place.