Judge sets December 8 trial date for Aurora theater shooting case

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes will go on trial December 8, even though his defense team asked the judge for another delay Tuesday.

The judge says both sides have had plenty of time and he expects them to be ready for trial.

He’ll also decide in the next couple of days whether Holmes upcoming second psychiatric exam will be recorded on video.

Holmes’ parents were in court for the hearing Tuesday, just over two years  since he allegedly killed 12 people and injured 70 others at the Century 16 theater in Aurora.

His psychiatric exam by a state doctor last summer was not recorded on video. That sanity exam was ruled flawed and a new exam was ordered.

The forensic psychiatrist chosen for the new exam testified by phone Tuesday. He says recording Holmes on video will guarantee a more “thorough and reliable exam.” It will allow the doctor to be seen interacting with Holmes rather than relying on his handwritten notes.

“The psychiatrist is saying, ‘Yes, I routinely go back and review these video interviews while I am preparing the written evaluation,'” says legal analyst Dan Recht.

But Holmes’ attorneys objected saying state law doesn’t authorize recording exams and that it may impact a patient’s responses. The psychiatrist countered the he has recorded dozens of exams. He also says it will protect Holmes’ right to accuracy and provide the court more reliable testimony.

“I believe that the judge will defer to the expertise of the psychiatrist and probably allow the videotaping of the interview,” Recht says.

Earlier in the day the judge tossed out subpoenas for the discipline records of Aurora police officers listed as potential witnesses.

Also Tuesday an FBI metals expert and a gunshot residue expert from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation testified they conducted tests on items taken from the theater and Holmes’ apartment which could connect him to the crimes.

The hearing continues Wednesday with more expert crime scene testimony.

Holmes is charged with 166 counts and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.