JUDGE SAYS 3,500 COULD BE SUMMONED FOR HOLMES JURY:
As many as 3,500 prospective jurors will be summoned when Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes goes on trial. Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. included the estimate in a ruling dated Friday and granted a defense request to have all prospective jurors fill out questionnaires before they are questioned by lawyers. Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder and accused of planning and executing an assault on a packed movie theater in Denver in July, killing 12 people and injuring 70. The trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 3, and since jurors will wield life-and-death power over Holmes, jury selection is likely to be slow, painstaking and contentious. Once they are chosen, the jurors will be asked to weigh a staggering amount of evidence.
The case has generated nearly 40,000 pages of evidence, and more is on the way. This month, the judge granted prosecutors access to a notebook Holmes had sent a psychiatrist before the shootings. A receipt filed with the court shows the notebook was turned over to police on June 10. Prosecutors have said that in addition to reviewing the contents of the notebook, they want police to do unspecified “additional processing” of it and the defense has filed more than 130 motions to date. Defense lawyers have said they plan to seek a change of venue because of pretrial publicity.
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