James Egan Holmes: Colorado Shooter to Submit Palm Prints and DNA- Why the Delay?
Sep 27, 2012 01:22 PM EDT
(Photo : Reuters )
Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester ordered that the palm-prints and DNA of alleged Colorado shooter, James Egan Holmes, be submitted to authorities.
But wonder why is the order coming so late in the case? Holmes was arrested over two months ago, shouldn't the submission of palm prints and DNA have been a part of the initial protocol?
The request comes at the urging of prosecutors, who on Thursday claimed that palm prints on the theater exit doors were found and that they needed the 24-year-old suspects print to check if it matched as reported by the Huffington Post.
Like Us on Facebook
In a recent development, Judge Sylvester has assigned the preliminary trial hearing to November 6.
Former Ph.D. student has not yet made a plea, but it is very likely that the 24-year-old will be pleading not-guilty due to insanity. Prosecutors have already charged him with 12 counts of murder and 116 of attempted murder. But now, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson seeks to add 10 counts to Holmes' 142 counts and amend 17 others.
Last week, prosecutors withdrew a request to gain access to Holmes' infamous diary, which he sent to the university psychiatrist detailing all aspects of the fatal shootout.
Prosecutors started the day with a bid to gain access to the notebook by presenting lead police investigator Craig Appel and detective Tom Welton to testify the importance of the book to the case; but the same afternoon expressed a change of heart and withdrew that request. Prosecutor explained that if Holmes pled not-guilty on grounds of insanity that would ensure access to the book. And since it is very likely that the 24-year-old will plead insanity, prosecutors believe the battle for access was unnecessary.
But if Holmes and his defense Daniel King opt for the insanity option, the case for prosecutors might become tricky, since this would mean that the burden of proof shifts to prosecutors, who will have to prove that Holmes is mentally sound.
According to the Colorado state law, prosecutors must prove the defense's sanity. Prosecutors will not be able to use their own examiners in investigating the defendant's mental state.
"It's burden of proof on steroids, it's totally subjective. It's not like proving somebody pulled the trigger. That's objective," said former federal prosecutor, Marcellus McRae, now in private trial attorney in Los Angeles to the Huffington Post.
Currently, the alleged shooter Holmes is being held in a detention facility of Arapahoe County in solitary confinement. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers told News Day that she is considering pursuing the death penalty, but only after consulting with the victims and their families.
On July 20, at a midnight screening of the cult-inducing Dark Knight Rises film at a movie house in Aurora, Colorado, Holmes, opened fire killing 12 people and injuring 59 others. He was arrested that morning and placed in custody.