(DENVER) — Prosecutors in Colorado have rejected an offer by the defense team of accused Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes that would allow the 25-year-old former grad student to plead guilty to killing 12 people in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table.
If they had agreed to a deal, Holmes would be sent to prison without the chance of parole for the July 20 shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in which 58 other people were wounded.
Prosecutors are angry with Holmes’ lawyers for making the plea offer public while still refusing to turn over information that would give the state a better idea of why a deal would be the best option for all concerned.
Now, prosecutors will announce at a hearing on Monday whether they will seek the death penalty against Holmes.
The alleged shooter’s attorneys might counter by seeking an insanity defense, which if successful, might mean Holmes would spent the rest of his life in treatment at a mental institution instead of death row or jail.
According to the state, an insanity defense is flimsy because there’s enough evidence that Holmes carefully planned the shooting rampage at the Aurora cineplex that has since reopened. However, Theater 9, where Holmes allegedly opened fire, is still shut down.
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