Prosecutors Will Seek Death Penalty In Colorado Theater Shootings

Rejecting James Holmes’ offer to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, prosecutors in Colorado announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty for the young man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 in a mass shooting last July at a movie theater.

As Denver’s KUSA-TV writes, “after a week of legal twists and turns … Holmes could face execution if convicted.”

Last week, as we reported, the 25-year-old Holmes’ attorneys made the plea offer — but prosecutors called it a publicity ploy. Ben Markus of Colorado Public Radio tells our Newscast Desk that prosecutors “were left fuming that plea negotiations were made public … violating the court’s media gag order.”

The Denver Post notes that “Holmes’ attorneys said in their filing last week that they may pursue a mental-health defense and file numerous pre-trial motions if the case goes to trial.” It adds that in court Monday, “District Attorney George Brauchler … said his office consulted with 800 victims [and family members] before deciding to seek death for Holmes. Holmes appeared to have no reaction [to the announcement].”

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