Aurora suspect offers guilty plea to avoid death

NEED TO KNOW
  • James Holmes is accused of killing 12 in shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater
  • He offered to plead guilty but prosecutors haven't accepted
James Holmes offers to plead guilty to Aurora, Colorado theater shooting.

Accused gunman James Holmes has said he's willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison for the mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. But prosecutors have not accepted his offer because they may choose to pursue the death penalty, according to documents filed Wednesday.

Holmes is charged with a total of 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges related to the mass shooting in July 2012 that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

Two weeks ago, a judge entered a standard not guilty plea on Holmes' behalf. His attorneys had suggested they might enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court documents. But they weren't ready to do that at the last hearing because the judge said Holmes could be subjected to "truth serum" and a polygraph if they went that route.

"As previously stated in court, counsel for Mr. Holmes are still exploring a mental health defense, and counsel will vigorously present and argue any and all appropriate defenses at a trial or sentencing proceeding, as necessary," the documents read.

"Nevertheless, Mr. Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion for all involved."

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