James Holmes, charged with murdering 12 people in a shooting at a Colorado movie theater in July, offered to plead guilty and spend his life in prison without any chance of parole, according to a court filing.
Lawyers for Holmes said the offer was made before his March 12 arraignment and that prosecutors, who are considering seeking the death penalty, haven’t accepted it yet, according to the filing today in state court in Centennial, in suburban Denver.
The judge in the case entered a not guilty plea at Holmes’s arraignment because a defense lawyer, Daniel King, said his client wasn’t ready to plead. Defenders have said they are considering an insanity plea.
If prosecutors ask for the death penalty Holmes may become the first capital defendant to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s insanity-defense laws.
Judge William Sylvester ruled in January that the government established probable cause that Holmes committed the crimes of which he’s accused. Holmes, who studied neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Denver, is charged with 166 counts, including murder and attempted murder.
Colorado State Public Defender Douglas Wilson, whose office is defending Holmes, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on today’s filing.
The case is People v. Holmes, 12-cr-01522, 18th Judicial District Court, Colorado (Centennial).
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