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Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea For Accused Colorado Theater Shooter

After his attorneys said they need more time to prepare to respond to the 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes he faces, a Colorado judge on Tuesday entered a not guilty plea on behalf of accused movie theater gunman James Holmes.

The Denver Post reports that "Judge William Sylvester entered the plea on Holmes' behalf over his attorneys' objections that he wasn't ready. The move leaves the door open for Holmes to change his plea later to not guilty by reason of insanity."

Holmes is charged with being the lone gunman who last July opened fire on a crowd at a theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring another 70. As Eyder reported on Monday, the judge had earlier warned Holmes " that if he pleads not guilty by reason of insanity he could be drugged for interviews with the state."

The Post reports that "defense attorney Daniel King said Holmes would be ready to make a plea by May or June 1. Prosecutors said they had waited long enough."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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