Defense Says No Plea Entry for James Holmes Friday

Update 1/11/13: The Judge continued the arraignment until March.

Update: The Judge has written a 62 page order finding probable cause and stating tomorrow's hearing, which previously was set to be a status hearing or arraignment, is now procedurally an arraignment, even though the defense is unlikely to enter a plea.

The hearing scheduled for January 11, 2013, at 9:00a.m. is HEREBY converted to an arraignment. This Court recognizes that the defense, in their Objection to Expanded Media Coverage (D-25), is requesting that the matter be set for a status hearing. This Court believes that procedurally it should be an arraignment, but notes, based on D-25, that the defense is likely to request a continuance of this arraignment and that the People should be on notice for Victims' Bill of Rights purposes.

No arraignment means no cameras, says the Court spokesman. Original Post:

The judge in the James Holmes case set Friday for an arraignment or status conference. Typically in Colorado, after the judge finds probable cause at a preliminary hearing, the matters proceeds to arraignment for the entry of a not guilty plea.

The media filed motions for expanded coverage of Friday's hearing. The defense filed an objection, saying they would not be ready to enter a plea Friday and the hearing should just be a status conference.

The defense has 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 arraignment.

Colorado statutes do not allow expanded media coverage at pre-trial hearings other than advisements and arraignments. Expanded media coverage includes audio, video and still photography. Denver's 9 news is seeking audio and video coverage, while the Denver Post is seeking permission for still photography.

Holmes obviously has competency and mental issues. If a defendant is believed to be incompetent, he isn't able to knowingly enter a plea. If sanity is an issue, and the defense is contemplating a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, more time may be needed for testing. I detailed both statutes here.

Update: From page 11 of the Order:

Sergeant Pyles testified that he interviewed victim-witness Corbin Dates. Mr. Dates told Sergeant Pyles that he was seated inside Theater Nine and noticed a male with red hair sticking out of a black beanie walk toward the emergency exit door in the front of Theater Nine while talking on a cell phone, and the man propped the door ajar with his foot.

I wonder who Holmes was talking to? Or was he just calling one of his doctors/counselors/pyschiatrist to leave a voicemail as to what he was about to do?

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