Colorado gunman mentally ill, says lawyer
Accused Colorado gunman James Holmes, charged with murder over a shooting rampage last month at a cinema in a Denver suburb, has a “mental illness” and tried to get help before the shooting, his defence attorney said in court on Thursday.
Holmes’s public defender, in a hearing on media access to court files in the case, repeatedly made references to his client’s unspecified mental illness, giving the first clear sign that Holmes’s lawyers might be considering an insanity defence.
“He tried to get help with his mental illness,” Daniel King said of his client, a 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student at the University of Colorado who faces 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.
Holmes is accused of bursting into a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora and opening fire in the crowded theatre, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others. Holmes, who seemed to have not shaved for days, appeared in court on Thursday wearing maroon prison garb and shackled at his hands and ankles, with his dyed hair fading to pink in some places from its original reddish-orange.
He seemed alert but disinterested in his third appearance in a courtroom since the July 20th mass shooting. He mostly stared straight ahead and did not talk to his lawyers. – (Reuters)