Lawyers: Colo shooting suspect can’t go to hearing

Topics: From the Wires,

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The man charged with the Colorado movie theater killings has an unspecified condition that will keep him from attending a court hearing scheduled for Thursday, defense lawyers said.

Court documents filed Wednesday gave no details of James E. Holmes’ condition. The documents said only that it “renders him unable to be present in court for (Thursday’s) hearing.”

The defense asked Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester to postpone the hearing, which was scheduled to discuss pretrial motions and media requests for information under state open records laws.

It was not immediately clear when the judge would rule on the request.

The defense said Holmes has a constitutional right to be present at all hearings in his case and argued the Thursday hearing must be postponed if he is unable to attend.

The defense offered to give the judge “a limited amount of additional information” about Holmes’ condition if necessary.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 by opening fire in a crowded theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora on July 20.

A midnight showing of the latest Batman movie was under way at the time.

Holmes is being held without bail and hasn’t entered a plea.

His mental health has been an issue in the case since shortly after the shootings. His lawyers told the judge in early August, about three weeks after the shootings, that Holmes was mentally ill. They have not said whether he would enter an insanity plea.

Holmes has appeared alternately dazed and alert in previous court appearances. Attorneys have not said whether he is under medication.

He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shootings.

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