A judge entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday for James Holmes, accused of killing 12 and wounding scores in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colo., last July, after the defendant’s attorneys said they were not ready to make a plea.
Judge William Sylvester said that Holmes can change his plea later to not guilty by reason of insanity, the Denver Post reported
Holmes, 25, is charged with 166 different counts including multiple first-degree murder charges, after opening fire last July 20 in a crowded midnight showing of “The Dark Night Rises” at a theater in the Denver suburb.
Prosecutors said they will announce in April whether they will seek the death penalty. The trial, expected to last a month, is scheduled to begin on Aug. 5.
Holmes sat silently through the court proceedings, wearing a red jail jumpsuit. Since his last appearance, he had grown a thick, bushy beard and wore unkempt dark brown hair, the Associated Press reported.
On Monday, Judge Sylvester said that Holmes could be given truth serum and a polygraph test during an evaluation to determine his competency if he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
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