Timeline for Accused CO Shooter Laid Out

8:59 AM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
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It's been four days and accused gunman James Holmes is only charged with suspicion of murder.

Holmes is suspected of opening fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre, killing 12 and wounding 58.

There may be a lengthy legal process before the case goes to a jury trial.

Holmes made his first court appearance Monday morning. It is the first step toward formal murder charges.

He will be charged next Monday and it's likely he will face several counts of first degree murder.

After he is formally charged, Holmes will enter his plea of guilty or not guilty at his arraignment hearing. That should be within a week after the murder charges.

Holmes' attorneys will have to determine how to represent their client and many are speculating not guilty by reason of insanity may be a likely defense.

"If you assert insanity as a defense at trial, then basically, what you've got to do, and the defendant would have the burden, to basically show that he didn't know what he was doing and he had no way to comprehend whether it was right or wrong," explained Jones Byrd, attorney.

Byrd says the defense could try to get the charges reduced the same way.

The attorney could also try to show Holmes is incompetent to proceed with trial.

"So rather than how he was at the time of the defense, it's what kind of state is he in now. If you can't participate, you can't talk with your lawyer, you have no idea what's happening in court - that's a competency issue rather than an issue of whether, how you were at the time, how he was at the time of the alleged offense."

He says Holmes will likely undergo a mental evaluation in the coming weeks.

As for the death penalty, the district attorney will have sixty days after the arraignment to make a decision.

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