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A Colorado judge entered a not guilty plea for accused killer, James Holmes, Tuesday (March 12), because his lawyers were unprepared to do so. Holmes’ attorney told the court that he was not ready to proclaim guilt or innocence, but will be able to change the plea, if necessary.

“I don’t think we can stand before you ethically and say we’re ready to enter a plea,” Attorney Daniel King told Judge William Sylvester. “The nature of the work we’re doing is ongoing.”

Angering Sylvester by also being an hour late because he was stuck in traffic, the judge set an August trial date, a hearing for next month, and was unhappy with the lawyer asking for more time to prepare the case. Among the items on King’s agenda, is looking into the legal ramifications of pleading insanity, provided that they can show “good cause” to enter the plea.

Holmes,  sat silent in court, and was described as “staring into space,” at one point. He is accused of shooting up a movie theater in Aurora, last summer, and has been in custody ever since. “They’ve had eight months to get to this point,” argued prosecutor, Karen Pearson.

“We’ve made significant progress,” King retorted. “We’re just not ready to proceed.”

King is weary of how certain information may be used against his client, who is facing several offences, including 166 counts of attempted murder.

On April 1, the District Attorney will reveal whether or not the death penalty will be sought.


Photo: CBS News