Judge in Aurora theater shooting case issues ruling on defense team constitutionality questions
James Holmes could enter plea at March 12 hearing
Last Updated: 75 days ago
ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - A ruling in the Aurora theater shooting case will be made public on Friday.
Last week, defense attorneys for shooting suspect James Holmes filed a motion indicating their client might plead not guilty by reason of insanity, but asked for a clarification of state law from Judge William Sylvester.
Holmes' attorneys wanted the judge to declare portions of the state's insanity defense laws unconstitutional.
The filings said the laws in which a defendant may waive their right to remain silent and reveal confidential medical information should be unconstitutional in cases involving the possibility of execution.
His attorneys also said not knowing whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty directly impacts what type of plea to enter at the March 12 arraignment or what type of defense to use.
Earlier this week, prosecutors filed a response stating that there were no constitutional issues.
7NEWS confirmed with a court spokesman that attorneys for both sides received the judge's ruling Thursday evening.
Sources told ABC News on Thursday night that the judge largely ruled against Holmes' legal team.
7NEWS asked legal analyst David Beller what that could mean.
"The judge has responded, 'I'm not going to analyze these statutes nor am I going to declare them unconstitutional,'" said Beller.
ABC News reported late Thursday night that pending an appeal to the judge's ruling, Holmes is expected to enter a plea on Tuesday.
Beller warned that it's still possible the defense may ask for the arraignment to be continued.
"On (March) 12th, we may certainly hear, 'Judge, we just need more time in order to know what plea to enter,'" said Beller. "The defense could certainly say, 'We just don't yet whether or not he is, in fact, insane.'"
Holmes is charged with 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and explosives charges in the July 20 Aurora theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 70.
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