James Holmes' parents will be allowed to watch accused theater shooter's trial

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - James Holmes' parents may be called as witnesses in the accused movie theater shooter's trial, but unlike other witnesses they will also be allowed to attend the trial.

The judge wrote the order on Monday, in response to a request from the defense that the parents be exempted from a previous order that barred witnesses from attending court proceedings, except for their testimony. In his order granting the request, District Judge Carlos Samour wrote the prosecution did not object.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 166 counts, including murder stemming from the July 20 theater attack in Aurora. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Seven of the other ten orders posted Monday denied defense requests as moot because the prosecution told the court the various possibilities would not apply to the case. That includes requests to prohibit expert witnesses on several topics.

In one of the remaining documents, Samour ordered the defense and prosecution to schedule a hearing to litigate a concern over "inflammatory images." The defense is concerned that certain images of the crime scene might prejudice the jury.

"The people also have no objection to litigating before trial whether the probative value of such evidence is substantially outweighed by any of the concerns identified in (Colorado Rules of Evidence) 403," Samour wrote in the order.

The final order was "sustained by agreement."

Because the prosecution agreed to notify the defense before any pieces of evidence in the case were tested in a consumptive or destructive manner, the judge didn't have to make a decision. He did write, however, that a hearing could be scheduled if the two sides ever disagree on a specific test.

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