Judge OKs Insanity Defense for Colo. Massacre Suspect

A judge accepted on Tuesday the insanity plea of Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes, paving the way for a mental health evaluation that could take months and putting to bed a weeks-long legal dispute over his plea plans. He had asked to enter the plea weeks ago, but a decision hinged on other legal issues, including his defense lawyers' challenge to the constitutionality of relevant state law. On Tuesday, just as he accepted the insanity plea, the judge also handed down a decision admitting into evidence a notebook that Holmes had mailed his former psychiatrist before the massacre in a package that was not opened until after the shooting, the Denver Post reported. The judge ruled that by pleading insanity, Holmes had waived any doctor-patient privilege. Holmes is charged with scores of counts of murder and attempted murder for the shootings, which killed 12 and wounded 58, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. An insanity plea is widely seen as Holmes' best chance of avoiding execution.

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