Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes’ trial has been postponed indefinitely on Thursday.
District Judge Carlos Samour ordered the delay as attorneys on both sides debated whether the suspected shooter should undergo another psychiatric evaluation.
James Holmes’ trial had been set to begin with jury selection on February 3.
The 25-year-old faces charges of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others during the 2012 attack at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a premiere of The Dark Knight.
His attorneys have not disputed that he committed the shootings but have entered plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Throughout a roughly 40-minute hearing on Thursday, James Holmes appeared expressionless as he sat in shackles and in a red prison jumpsuit and grown-in beard. He did not interact with his defense team or the bailiffs.
Prosecutors are challenging at least one of three aspects in the states’ first mental health evaluation and are seeking another examination. The findings of the evaluation have not been publically disclosed but the fact that prosecutors want further evaluation suggests the first exam might have found Holmes was insane.
If James Holmes were found by jurors to have been insane at the time of the shooting, he would be committed to state hospital instead of prison. As such, the findings of any psychiatric evaluations are crucial to the case.
Judge Carlos Samour set future hearings on further testing and other pre-trial issues for December 17 and 18.
A hearing scheduled for November 22 and a capitol motions hearings scheduled from December 2 to December 20 have been cancelled, but in the course of discussion today, the judge indicated he hoped that the trial could start as early as April.