After his first court appearance, noted lawyers tell HollywoodLife.com exclusively that James and his attorney have a long and difficult road ahead of them. Read on for details.
James Holmes, the 24-year-old man accused of shooting 71 people July 20 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado was arraigned July 23, during which he was informed he will be charged with first degree murder. Colorado is a death penalty state, which we’ve learned James will have a tough time avoiding.
Steve Cron, a noted Santa Monica, California criminal defense lawyer, tells HollywoodLife.com exclusively, “Well, my assessment is his only hope is [if] the jury says he is mentally incompetent or if the jury says he has some mental incapacities…[If] the defense can show that he really was kind of crazy, delusional, maybe that would be grounds.”
He continues, though, “Well is it possible [to avoid the death penalty]? Yes. When you kill that many people and plan with booby traps, it sure looks like he was planning it for a long time, and I would say it’s going to be a tough case for him to try and avoid the death penalty.”
Noted Los Angeles attorney Mychal Wilson adds, “James’…defense must show that he was insane at the time the act was committed and not now…To mount his insanity defense, [his] attorneys must show that he lacked the mental capacity to know the difference between right and wrong and that he does not understand the charges against him.”
When we asked what could be expected next for this case, Steve said, “Trial, if there is a full-on trial. I’m guessing it will be a year from now. He’s not getting out. Maybe they work out a settlement, he pleads guilty and he doesn’t get the death penalty. I think that’s unlikely…I think the prosecution is going to seek the death penalty and likely he’ll get it. If it’s not going to be death, life without possible in parole.”
Steve summed it up plainly: “Nobody is going to be sympathetic for him. He’s in a tough position.”
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you think James will be given the death penalty?
— Reporting by Nicole Karlis and Sandra Clark, Written by Billy Nilles
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