Hearings in Aurora theater shooting case begin Monday behind closed doors

A week of significant hearings in the Aurora theater shooting case begins behind closed doors Monday, as prosecutors and defense attorneys argue over issues of mental health and the death penalty.

The purpose of the first four days of hearings is to determine whether James Holmes will be told to undergo another court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Prosecutors are challenging the first evaluation by alleging that the doctor who performed it was biased.

They want Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour to order Holmes to undergo an evaluation by two prosecution experts, which defense attorneys argue would violate constitutional protections against self-incrimination.

The evaluations are critical because Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Juries often agree with the findings of the court-ordered evaluation when deciding a verdict.

"The information that will be discussed at the hearing goes to the heart of the case," Samour wrote in an earlier order about this week's hearings.

Read more from our partners at the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24999171/closed-door-hearings-aurora-theater-shooting-case-begin#ixzz2rcIj4Fla