CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CN) - The judge in accused mass murderer James Holmes' case has pushed back Holmes' trial date again, to December.
Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring dozens during a midnight premiere of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises" in an Aurora movie theater on July 20, 2012. He is charged with more than 160 felony counts, including murder and weapons charges.
Prosecutors indicated they will seek the death penalty.
In a February hearing, Arapahoe County Judge Carlos Samour set the trial to start on Oct. 14, to allow time to find a new psychiatric evaluator for Holmes evaluation. Prosecutors claimed that the first evaluator was biased.
On Wednesday this week, Samour published a notice
to the prosecution and defense stating that the evaluator needed more time.
"The Court realizes that postponing the deadline until October 15 will impact the October 14 trial date. The Court also recognizes that most of the named victims likely oppose a postponement of the trial date. However, the Court has little choice but the grant the examiner's request. As the Court has observed before, this is a complicated and voluminous case, and it is important that the second examination is adequate and complete. Therefore, the request is granted. The Court will set a new trial date and a new pretrial status conference at the July 22, 2014 hearing."
The examiner told prosecutors and defense that he will videotape the examination, as is his standard practice. Prosecutors did not object; the defense did. But the judge found no reason to order the examiner not to do his work "based on 'his independent medical judgment of appropriateness and necessity.'"
In a second order
, Samour proposed Nov. 3 for the pretrial status hearing, and Dec. 8 for the beginning of jury selection.
In addition to a pretrial status conference on July 22, there will be another hearing on July 23 to address several other motions.