Holmes arraignment postponed

Jan. 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM
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CENTENNIAL, Colo., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A Colorado judge Friday postponed the arraignment of Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes until March.

Holmes faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other offenses for the July 20 shooting in a theater packed with moviegoers attending the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

Chief Judge William Sylvester Thursday ruled prosecutors had established probable cause to believe the crime was committed and ordered Holmes to stand trial.

"The proof is evident or the presumption is great that [Holmes] committed the crimes charged," Sylvester said in a 61-page ruling.

The ruling's full text can be found at tinyurl.com/ac785ub.

Holmes had been scheduled to enter a formal plea Friday but the arraignment was postponed until March 12 after his attorneys said more time was needed to review 30,879 pages, 358 data disks, 220 DVDs, 136 CDs and two Blue Ray discs of evidence, The Denver Post reported.

"Rot in hell, Holmes," Steve Hernandez, the father of slain victim Rebecca Wingo, shouted after the hearing. The judge reprimanded him for the outburst and Hernandez promised it wouldn't happen again.

As part of his ruling Thursday, Sylvester ordered Holmes, 25, to continue to be held without bail.

Sylvester's decision followed a three-day preliminary hearing that ended Wednesday.

During the hearing, prosecutors tied Holmes to weapons found at the theater after the shooting. They also showed cellphone pictures of Holmes posing with guns and body armor hours before the shooting, as well as a theater surveillance video showing Holmes entering the movie complex just after midnight, about a half-hour before the shootings.

Police said he later exited an emergency door, propped it open and went to his car in the rear parking lot to dress in tactical gear and arm himself.

The July 20 mass shooting inside the Century movie theater during a midnight screening of the film "The Dark Knight Rises" was among the largest mass shootings in U.S. history, although it has been overshadowed by later attacks, including last month's Newtown, Conn., massacre of 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students and six school employees.

Holmes was arrested outside the theater minutes after the shooting. He was dressed entirely in black body armor, much like the police SWAT team that responded.

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