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James Holmes “Self-Proclaimed The Joker” officially faces murder charges

james holmesWill “The Joker” – James Holmes – manage to get the last laugh? James Holmes, self-proclaimed “The Joker,” who even dyed his hair red for the shooting event, has been charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder during the second court hearing. Nonetheless, he might also be held liable for attempting to slay over 100 movie goers on the unfortunate midnight viewing of Batman’s latest sequel – “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Prosecutors came up with a 40-page charge sheet against Holmes for the mass killing at the Colorado Theatre. The charges, in particular hold two counts of first degree murder for each of the twelve victims who died in the mass shooting– one count for deliberate killing, and another for “depraved indifference” to the victims. Holmes is also confronted by 116 attempted murder charges for putting the lives of movie viewers in danger by indiscriminate firing.

Criminal charges also extend to one count of possessing explosive device and another count of sentence enhancement for committing a violent crime. Carrying a pump-action shotgun, Holmes attacked the Colorado Theatre by braking into the fire exit on the 20th of July. According to law enforcement authorities, Holmes threw two canisters of obnoxious gas into the theatre, and fired gunshots using a military assault rifle that can shoot 50-60 rounds per minute. He’s got four guns that were allegedly obtained from local gun shops, and 6000-round ammunition purchased through the internet.

Amidst the overwhelming criminal charges, the question whether or not Holmes shall end up in the death row is still unresolved. Legal experts, however, asserted that insanity defenses can be raised for the defendant to be spared from capital punishment. Counsel for the accused may prove that Holmes is not mentally competent to stand the trial.

The defence, in case of conviction, may also argue that its client is mentally ill to evade the death penalty. Besides, Holmes’ lawyers have already revealed that the defendant was a patient of Dr. Lynne Fenton – the resident psychiatrist at the University of Colorado.

While the first court hearing was aired on national TV, Holmes’ second court day wasn’t televised. District Chief Judge William Sylvester did not allow media coverage during the court hearing to uphold the right of the accused for a fair trial. In the same way, Judge Sylvester also released a gag order to seal Holmes’ court file, as well as, the latter’s public records in the University of Colorado Denver.

Media organizations, in turn, decided to challenge the gag order sealing Holmes’ court file. Of course, it is noteworthy that the media earlier released reports about the package allegedly sent by Holmes to the university psychiatrist holding the description of the attack. A defence motion, in turn, has been raised to find out who’s responsible for the information leakage.

Defense lawyers are putting the blame to the prosecutors for giving away the news scoop about the package to the media. Nonetheless, the Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers claimed that news reports came out prior to the opening of the package for the investigation of James Holmes mass murder case.

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