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Long-awaited plea is near in Colo theater shooting

Published On: Mar 12 2013 07:20:29 AM CDT
James Holmes in court

In the eight months since James Holmes first shuffled into court with vacant eyes and reddish-orange hair, he and his lawyers haven't said much about how he would plead to charges in the Colorado theater shootings.

They may provide the answer during an arraignment hearing Tuesday. Many expect Holmes to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. If that happens, he'll get a mental evaluation to determine whether he could distinguish right from wrong.

If he's acquitted on the grounds of insanity, he would be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital. If jurors find him guilty, he could be sentenced to execution or life in prison.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 and injuring 70 in the July 20 shootings at a movie theater in a Denver suburb.