Homicide

Judge delays trial of accused Colorado movie theater massacre gunman over sanity issue

Holmes has never denied being behind the July 20, 2012 massacre. (AP/The Denver Post)

Holmes has never denied being behind the July 20, 2012 massacre. (AP/The Denver Post)

The judge in the Colorado theater shootings case has indefinitely postponed the trial of suspect James Holmes so attorneys can argue whether he should undergo another psychiatric evaluation.

District Judge Carlos Samour scheduled hearings on the issue for Dec. 17 and 18.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 at an Aurora theater in July 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty and want Holmes to undergo further evaluation of his sanity.

The findings of Holmes' first mental health evaluation, conducted at a state hospital, have not been publicly disclosed.

Holmes' attorneys don't dispute that he committed the shootings, but his plea makes  psychiatric evaluations -- which assess whether Holmes was sane at the time of the shootings -- the most important pieces of evidence.