Colo. suspect James Holmes arraignment delayed to March 12

11:10 PM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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By Gary Strauss, USA TODAY

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The man accused of the Colorado theater shooting won't have to enter a plea until March, a ruling by the judge that upset family members of victims who were sitting in court Friday.

"Rot in hell, Holmes!" yelled Steve Hernandez, the father of Rebecca Wingo, who was killed in the theater massacre.

Other family members could be heard muttering under their breaths after Judge William Sylvester granted a defense motion to delay the arraignment of James Holmes until March 12. The decision came a day after Sylvester ruled that Holmes should stand trial on charges he killed 12 people and injured nearly 60 others in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting last summer.

Defense lawyer Tamara Brady said Friday the defense needed more time to look over all the evidence in the case. Prosecutors have said evidence includes more than 30,000 pages of discovery, 358 computer discs, 220 DVDs and 136 CDs.

Although it had been widely expected that Holmes would enter an insanity plea, Brady said Friday that "an insanity defense is speculative at this point."

Hernandez was quickly surrounded by sheriff's deputies after his outburst. Sylvester then met with members of the defense and prosecution teams and, about 20 minutes later, reconvened the court.

Hernandez told the judge "I meant no disrespect. I promise no further outbursts."

Before his ruling, Sylvester had said that the court completely "empathized with the victims who need closure," but that he wanted to make sure everything was done so there was no chance of retrying the case in a couple of years.

After Hernandez's outburst, Sylvester reiterated that he empathized with family members of the victims of the shooting, adding that he couldn't imagine what Hernandez was going through.

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