DENVER (AP) — The man accused in the deadly Colorado theater shootings wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, his lawyers said Tuesday.
Attorneys for James Holmes said in a court filing they plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13 hearing.
The insanity plea was widely expected given the compelling evidence against Holmes, who is accused of opening fire July 20 in a crowded theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured.
But his lawyers delayed entering an insanity plea for weeks, saying Colorado's insanity and death penalty laws overlapped in a way that could severely — and unconstitutionally — hamper his defense if he did plead insanity.
The defense has asked both judges who have presided over the case to rule on the constitutionality of the laws. Both judges refused, saying the question was speculative because Holmes hadn't entered an insanity plea. That left Holmes' lawyers with no choice but to enter the insanity plea, then seek a ruling on the constitutionality question.
Holmes, 25, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.
I guess the fact that there was two gas masks escapes everyone.