October 21, 2013 2:16 pm

Colorado theatre shooting: battle resumes over insanity evidence

File photo of James Holmes.

AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Attorneys in the Colorado theatre shooting case debated Monday whether defendant James Holmes‘ bank and phone records should be used as evidence in his trial.

The arguments at a pretrial hearing were part of a larger battle over any evidence that might strengthen or weaken Holmes’ claim that he was insane at the time of the 2012 attack on a suburban Denver theatre.

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Profile: Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. His attorneys say he was having a psychotic episode during the attack, which left 12 people dead and 70 injured.

Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, want to use any evidence they can find that might show Holmes planned the attack and knew it was a crime. But the defence argued Monday that the bank and phone records were obtained with flawed warrants.

The defence also contends that police illegally kept Holmes from seeing an attorney for more than 13 hours, and that anything he told officers in that time can’t be used against him. A former Holmes attorney has testified she tried to tell police they could not speak to him. Police said they questioned Holmes anyway, without his attorney present.

Last week, police acknowledged they knew that two attorneys had asked to speak with Holmes after his arrest and that Holmes had asked for an attorney.

Prosecutors argue police had a duty to ask Holmes about possible accomplices and about bombs found at his apartment because lives were in danger. They said police couldn’t wait until after Holmes met with a lawyer.

Attorneys are also expected to argue this week about whether items seized from Holmes’ apartment can be used as evidence in his trial, which is scheduled to begin in February.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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