Judge Accepts Theater Shooting Suspect’s Insanity Plea

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**EMBARGO: Los Angeles** Mandatory font: “Sketches by Bill Robles.” Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty for Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes despite his offer last week to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding a death sentence.

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DENVER, CO — A Denver-area judge on Tuesday accepted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity by Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes, according to CNN affiliates KMGH and KUSA.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr.’s ruling comes about a month after Holmes’ attorneys asked to change his plea from a standard not guilty — a move that followed the prosecution’s decision to seek the death penalty.

Holmes faces murder and other charges in the July 20 shooting spree in Aurora that killed 12 people and wounded dozens more at the premiere of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Holmes’ previous not-guilty plea had been entered by a judge on his behalf in March, over his objection, Holmes’ defense team has said.

The defendant had offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars if authorities would spare his life, but prosecutors in Arapahoe County announced in April they would seek the death penalty.

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