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Prosecutors will seek death against James Holmes in Colorado theater shooting
First Published Apr 01 2013 09:31 am • Last Updated Apr 01 2013 12:13 pm

CENTENNIAL, COLO. - Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty against James Holmes in the July 20 attack on what was then called the Century Aurora 16 movie theater.

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Holmes is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other offenses in connection with the attack. He is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 5 for the killings, though his lawyers have said they will likely ask to postpone that date if the case moves forward.

Last week, Holmes' attorneys disclosed in a court filing that Holmes had offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence in prison without parole. Prosecutors criticized the disclosure as improper and said that Holmes had failed to meet their requirements for a plea deal.

Holmes' attorneys said in their filing last week that they may pursue a mental-health defense and file numerous pre-trial motions if the case goes to trial, and Monday's hearing offered the first chance to see how they would respond to the legal dilemma before them.

Monday's hearing also may end a long-running side argument in the case about who leaked information to a New York-based Fox News reporter. The reporter, Jana Winter, reported in July that the notebook Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist contained violent drawings and details of a murderous plot. She cited unnamed law-enforcement sources, and Holmes' attorneys contend those sources violated the case's gag order.


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When a previous hearing - during which several local law-enforcement officials were called to testify - failed to turn up the source of the leak, Holmes attorneys sought a subpoena for Winter. Winter, however, is fighting the subpoena and says the law protects reporters from having to divulge their sources.



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