Prosecutors seek delay of trial, second sanity evaluation for James Holmes in theater shooting case

Prosecutors in the movie theater shooting case are asking the judge to delay the trial and send the defendant to a second sanity evaluation.

Court records made public Monday show that prosecutors made the request Friday.

-- Update: On Tuesday, the judge set a hearing on this subject for Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. --

James 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 one 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."

Judge Carlos Samour published an order Monday about the request for a second evaluation. He wrote that the defense has objected and instructed the attorneys on both sides to agree to a date for a hearing about the request.

A finding of insanity would make it much harder for prosecutors to persuade a jury to convict Holmes of murder and sentence him to death.

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