Jun 4, 2013 12:09 PM by Patricia Collier
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - A judge has accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the Colorado theater shootings.
Tuesday's decision sets the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of Holmes, who is accused of fatally shooting 12 people and injuring 70 in a packed Denver-area movie theater in July.
The evaluation could take months. Holmes is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Holmes' lawyers repeatedly have said he is mentally ill, but they delayed the insanity plea while arguing that state laws were unconstitutional. They said the laws could hobble the defense if Holmes' case should ever reach the phase where the jury decides if he should be executed.
The judge rejected that argument last week.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)