News Column

James Holmes Pleads Guilty in Colorado

March 28, 2013

The man accused of murdering 12 people last summer in Colorado at the premiere of a Batman movie might plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, news reports said Wednesday.

Attorneys representing James Holmes, 25, have offered to have him plead guilty and accept a life-long prison sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, a Denver television station reported.

"Mr Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion," according to a court filing.

Prosecutors haven't accepted the deal because they may decide to pursue the death penalty regardless of Holmes' plea, Denver's News 9 reported.

Holmes still has the option to change his plea to "not guilty by reason of insanity." That change could even come after prosecutors announce whether they will seek the death penalty.

Judge William Sylvester entered a not guilty plea for Holmes on March 12. At the time defence lawyers said they needed more time to work on the case.

Holmes faces 166 counts of murder for the July 20 attack, in which he is alleged to have launched a shooting spree in an Aurora, Colorado theatre packed for a midnight premier of the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. Twelve people were killed and some 70 wounded in the attack.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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