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Defense lawyers in Colorado theater shootings question reliability of firearms analysis

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CENTENNIAL, Colorado — Defense attorneys in the Colorado theater shootings are attacking the reliability of firearms analysis, saying it's subjective and lacks statistics to measure its accuracy.

The judge heard testimony Wednesday from a state crime scientist who said he matched bullets and shell casings found at the theater to three weapons, apparently the ones officers seized at the scene.

PHOTO: Asst. District Attorney Karen Pearson walks from district court during a pause in a hearing for James Holmes, in Centennial, Colo., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in a crowded Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Asst. District Attorney Karen Pearson walks from district court during a pause in a hearing for James Holmes, in Centennial, Colo., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in a crowded Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The defense wants firearms testimony barred from the trial.

James Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Defense lawyers have acknowledged Holmes was the shooter but continue to challenge any evidence prosecutors present.

Holmes' attorneys say he was in the grip of a psychotic episode at the time of the shootings.

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PHOTO: Asst. District Attorney Karen Pearson walks from district court during a pause in a hearing for James Holmes, in Centennial, Colo., on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in a crowded Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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