Judge: James Holmes to go to trial in Aurora theater shooting case; arraignment scheduled for Friday

People proved burden of proof, Judg Sylvester says

AURORA, Colo. - Judge William Sylvester ruled Thursday that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to require James Holmes to stand trial for the July 20 shooting at the Century 16 theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others. 

The ruling came after a three-day preliminary hearing conducted Monday through Wednesday.

Holmes faces 166 counts, including multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.  The judge found probable cause for all 166 counts filed against Holmes.  The judge said Friday's hearing would become an arraignment.

Sylvester said in his opinion that the defense is likely to request a continuance of the arraignment.

The defense made a request Thursday in court papers objecting to news organizations' request for expanded media coverage that would allow video cameras, audio recording and still cameras in court for the 9 a.m. Friday hearing.

The defense team wrote that they had "notified the District Attorney that it is not prepared to proceed to arraignment in this case by Friday, and therefore requests that the hearing on Friday serve only as a status hearing and not an arraignment."

Under Colorado court rules, expanded media coverage during pretrial criminal cases is only allowed during advisement and arraignment hearings, the defense said.

The defense said allowing cameras or audio recordings at a status hearing would violate expanded coverage rules and jeopardize Holmes' constitutional rights to a fair trial, due process, a fair and impartial jury and to be presumed innocent.

The defense also said it further objects to allowing cameras and audio recordings in the courtroom "at all future proceedings in this case." It is not unusual for defense attorneys to make such a blanket request.

 

"This is a big case.  With so many witnesses.  And a tragic case with so many victims.  And the defense and the prosecution have a lot of work to do," said 7NEWS legal analyst Dan Recht.