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Judge accepts James Holmes’ insanity plea in Colorado theater shootings

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James Holmes

A Colorado judge has accepted James Holmes’ plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the Colorado theater shootings.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. previously indicated he would allow Holmes to change his plea from not guilty to not guilty by reason of insanity.

An attorney for Holmes verbally stated the plea. Holmes, who was dressed in a red jumpsuit with his hair combed back, did not speak.

Now that the plea has been accepted, a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation will be ordered.

Holmes is charged with staging a meticulously planned assault on a packed movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora in July. Twelve people were shot and killed, and 70 were injured.

Holmes faces more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes’ lawyers say he wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity — considered his best hope of avoiding the death penalty, and possibly his only hope, given the weight of the evidence against him.