Movie theater shooting hearing: Lawyers debate videotaping sanity evaluation, setting trial date

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - The trial for the Aurora movie theater shooting case has been set for December.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, attorneys debated a number of issues including the trial date and whether suspect James Holmes' second sanity evaluation should be videotaped.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

-- Aurora Police officers --

The first order of business Tuesday were motions regarding two Aurora Police Officers who responded to the theater on the night of the shooting.

The defense wants the disciplinary records for the officers, arguing the records could weaken the officers' credibility as witnesses.

Prosecutors have already said the two officers were part of an internal investigation.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour quashed the subpoenas on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said they don't plan to call the officers at trial.

-- Videotaping the second sanity hearing--

Holmes underwent a mandatory sanity evaluation last summer, but according to court documents, the judge concluded that the first evaluation of Holmes conducted by the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo was incomplete and inadequate.

The judge granted prosecutors' request for a second evaluation but said it should be done by another doctor at the state hospital, not by doctors chosen by the prosecutors.

The second psychiatrist wants to videotape the evaluation. The doctor says the videotape will help him better evaluate Holmes and the tape would be destroyed after the report is complete.

However, Holmes' attorneys don't want the examination recorded.

Judge Samour heard arguments Tuesday morning about the videotaping request and said he will rule on the issue in the next couple days.

-- Trial date --

The trial was scheduled to start Oct. 14. However, the psychiatrist performing the second sanity evaluation at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo is not scheduled to turn in his report until Oct. 15, delaying jury selection.

Samour set a new trial date of Dec. 8.

"I expect both sides to be ready," Samour said.

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