A judge says prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings can use evidence found in defendant James Holmes' apartment, which includes homemade bombs and a calendar with the day of the shootings highlighted.
DENVER - The defendant in the deadly Colorado theater shooting could be given "truth serum" under a court order issued Monday to help determine whether he is insane if he pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.
Suspect James Holmes could be required to submit to a "narcoanalytic interview" as part of an evaluation to determine if he was legally insane at the time of the July 20 shootings, Arpahoe County District Judge William Sylvester said.
A narcoanalylitic interview is a decades-old process in which patients are given drugs to lower their inhibition. Academic studies have shown that the technique has involved the use of sodium amytal and pentothal, sometimes called truth serum.
The prospect of such interviews that may ensue under such a plea alarmed defense attorneys, who filed documents opposing the technique.
Holmes, 25, is scheduled to enter a plea Tuesday to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. He is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
If Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be examined by doctors at the state mental hospital.
In an advisory that Holmes would have to sign if he enters an insanity plea, Sylvester didn't specify what type of drugs would be used but said the examination could include "medically appropriate" ones.
Sylvester said Holmes also could be given a polygraph examination as part of the evaluation.
After reading a draft of the advisory, Holmes' lawyers objected, saying a narcoanalytic interview and a polygraph would violate their client's rights.
In the final version of the advisory, Sylvester said he had incorporated some suggestions from the defense and the prosecution, but he did not address the defense objections to a narcoanalytic interview and polygraph.
Karen Steinhauser, a former prosecutor who is a law professor at the University of Denver and a defense attorney, said she could not find any case law about use of the narcoanalytic interview.
"It comes up so rarely," she said, adding she knows nothing about it.
She noted the technique is clearly allowed by Colorado law.
Some recited the names of the dead. Some did good deeds for their neighbors. And some practiced yoga, walked through nature, or simply talked.
"The day that we could have died is the day that we get to spend the rest of our lives together," said Aurora, Colorado theater shooting survivor Kirstin Davis, who will marry her fiancé Saturday.
His face was hidden behind a gas mask, and he was costumed from head to toe in a police-style helmet, black cargo pants and black vest. Then he started shooting.
James Holmes, the former neuroscience graduate student accused of the deadly Colorado movie theater shootings, is headed to the state mental hospital for an evaluation of his sanity.
A judge on Tuesday accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, setting the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of the Colorado theater shooting suspect.
The suspect in the Colorado theater massacre could enter his long-expected insanity plea at a hearing Tuesday -- though the case could also veer off on another tangent as his lawyers seek the strongest possible defense.
Lawyers for the Colorado theater shooting suspect say he wants to change his plea to guilty by reason of insanity, but a judge won't rule on whether to allow that yet.
Lawyers for the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a Colorado movie theater say he wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Attorneys for the Colorado theater shooting suspect suggested in a court filing Monday that they might be considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity over their client's objections.