DENVER (CN) - James Holmes cannot block those who survived the shooting at a 2012 Batman movie premier from watching "critical moments" of his trial, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled.
Defense attorneys for the 26-year-old had petitioned
the state's highest court last week after Arapahoe County Judge Carlos Samour said the shooting victims could attend trial and pretrial hearings.
That 51-page petition argued that it was "likely to profoundly affect the way that [witnesses] testify at both the merits and the sentencing phases of the trial" if they were allowed to watch proceedings in advance of their testimony. Holmes' attorneys also claimed that there are more witnesses than those who were injured or killed, and that the prosecution demonstrated that including all of them in the trial would be difficult.
The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously denied Holmes' request Thursday.
"Upon consideration of the Petition for Rule to Show Cause Why the District Court's Ruling Exempting Both Named Victims and Other Affected Witnesses from the Sequestration Order in this Capital Case Should Not Be Reversed Pursuant to C.A.R. 21 filed in the above cause, and now being sufficiently advised in the premises, it is ordered that Petition for Rule to Show Cause shall be, and the same hereby is denied."
Holmes has been charged with 166 felony counts including first-degree and attempted murder in connection with the shooting in an Aurora movie theater during a midnight showing of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises."
Prosecutors have indicated they will seek the death penalty.
The trial is expected to be on schedule and is set for Oct. 14.