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Colorado prosecutors seeking death penalty for James Holmes

  • FILE - In this March 12, 2013 file photo, Aurora, Colo., theater shooting suspect James Holmes sits in the courtroom during his arraignment in Centennial, Colo. On Monday, April 1, 2013, prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty against Holmes. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Prosecutors on Monday said they will seek the death penalty against the man accused in last year's movie theater attack that killed 12, injured 70 and spurred new gun control laws in Colorado.

The much-anticipated disclosure came in a court hearing held four days after prosecutors publicly rejected an offer by James Holmes' attorneys that the former neuroscience graduate student would plead guilty to avoid execution.

Prosecutors had said the defense proposal wasn't a valid plea bargain offer, although they could still agree to a plea before the case goes to trial.

The decision to seek execution will delay the start of the trial until at least February, and the judge acknowledged even that might not be enough time for all sides to prepare. The trial had been planned to begin in August.

"It's my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes justice is death," Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said at the Monday hearing. He spoke quietly and deliberately without any hesitation.


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