ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - The trial for movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes will not start as planned in February.
That's because prosecutors want their own experts to talk with Holmes. The judge said he had to delay the trial to review this issue.
Defense attorneys called the request "virtually unheard of."
The judge scheduled a hearing for Dec. 17-18 to consider the prosecution's request.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012 shooting. As a result, he was evaluated at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo.
The findings of the first evaluation haven't been publicly disclosed, but longtime Denver defense attorney Dan Recht says it's highly unlikely prosecutors would ask for another evaluation if the first one found Holmes was sane.
Additionally, the defense filed a motion on Nov. 8 that hints at the findings of the first evaluation. Their request was not made public, but the title was published in the "Register of Actions" for the case.
It was titled, "Motion to strike the death penalty because the state and federal constitutions prohibit the execution of individuals such as Mr. Holmes who suffer from a chronic and serious mental illness."
The first mental evaluation was 128 pages. It's believed the evaluation included testing, interviews, and/or assessments by a psychologist and neuropsychologist.
In court Thursday, prosecutors said they want two experts who have been following the case to meet with Holmes at the Arapahoe County Jail. They want to talk with him over the course of a couple days to make their own evaluation.
The judge is expected to rule on that request sometime in December or January.
The judge said he hopes to reschedule the trial for April.
"My life is on hold, I figured yours was, too," the judge told attorneys in court.