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James Holmes Reappears In Court, Judge Accepts Insanity Plea

Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 70 at an Aurora, Colorado, screening of The Dark Knight Rises last summer.

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Now that the judge has accepted Holmes' plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, the suspected Aurora shooter will undergo a potentially lengthy psychological evaluation before his trial.

From the Associated Press:

Holmes' lawyers repeatedly have said he is mentally ill, but they delayed the insanity plea while arguing that state laws were unconstitutional. They said the laws could hobble the defense if Holmes' case should ever reach the phase where the jury decides if he should be executed.

The judge rejected that argument last week.

Prior to the July 20 shootings, Holmes saw a therapist named Dr. Lynne Fenton. According to court documents, he threatened her repeatedly in text messages and sent her a journal titled "On Life" about a week before the shootings. That notebook will now be entered into evidence; the insanity plea waived doctor-patient confidentiality that previously protected it.

During Tuesday's hearing, the defense also made more than a few requests to change trial procedures:

Defense does not want members of jury to have phones in court. #theatershooting

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense does not want members of jury to have phones in court. #theatershooting

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Defense attorneys call display of security at court "troubling," Client always "well-behaved" in court, #theatershooting documents, say.

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense attorneys call display of security at court "troubling," Client always "well-behaved" in court, #theatershooting documents, say.

Defense wants court to allow defendant to wear civilian clothing during trial. #theatershooting documents

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense wants court to allow defendant to wear civilian clothing during trial. #theatershooting documents

Defense attorneys want to limit photos of deceased victims/graphic images in court during trial. #theatershooting

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense attorneys want to limit photos of deceased victims/graphic images in court during trial. #theatershooting

Defense attorneys say suspects memberships to Adult Friend Finder and http://t.co/ZJu5YLQLpU irrelevant to the case. #theatershooting

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense attorneys say suspects memberships to Adult Friend Finder and http://t.co/ZJu5YLQLpU irrelevant to the case. #theatershooting

Def attorneys want some "extreme indifference murder" charges dismissed...cite double jeopardy. #theatershooting

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Def attorneys want some "extreme indifference murder" charges dismissed...cite double jeopardy. #theatershooting

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Defense attorneys want change of venue. #theatershooting

jeremyjojola

@jeremyjojola

Defense attorneys want change of venue. #theatershooting

The Denver Post has video (without audio) from Holmes' appearance:

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com.

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