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Colorado theater shooting prosecutors agree to short trial delay as defense eyes sanity exam


CENTENNIAL, Colorado — Prosecutors would agree to push back the trial for the man charged in the Colorado theater shootings so defense attorneys can have more time to review his sanity exam, according to court filings released Thursday.

But prosecutors said they would oppose a delay of more than four or five weeks because most of the victims do not want the trial postponed any longer.

James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack on a Denver-area theater. The trial was set for Dec. 8. If District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. grants the delay, it would be the fifth time the trial has been postponed.

Defense attorneys sought the delay this week, saying they need more time to review a second sanity evaluation of Holmes that included 22 hours of interviews with the defendant.

Prosecutors said they understood that the complexity of the mental health report may warrant more time, but the majority of the victims polled do not want any further delay. Of 147 victims and relatives surveyed by prosecutors, 84 said they object to further postponement. Twenty-nine said they would not object to a short delay.

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