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James Holmes Update: Trial for Colorado shooting suspect delayed until at least next year, judge says

AP

James Holmes sits in the courtroom during his arraignment in Centennial, Colo. on March 12, 2013
AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool

(CBS/AP) CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A judge has delayed the trial of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes until at least next February, after prosecutors said Monday they intend to seek the death penalty.

Pictures: The Colorado massacre suspect

The trial was previously scheduled for August for the 25-year-old accused of the July 2012 shooting that killed 12 and injured 58 people at an Aurora movie theater. But both sides agreed Monday that the case will take longer now that prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors said they want the case wrapped up by spring of next year. But defense lawyers objected, saying the trial alone would take at least nine months and can't even start until numerous pretrial issues are resolved.

"They are trying to execute our client, and we will do whatever it takes to defend his life," said Tamara Brady, an attorney for Holmes.

Investigators said Holmes methodically stockpiled weapons and ammunition for his assault on a packed midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" and booby-trapped his apartment to explode and distract any police who responded.

The theater massacre was repeatedly cited by gun control advocates who pushed a hotly contested package through the Colorado legislature last month. The bills include a ban on the sort of high-capacity magazines used to spray the theater with dozens of bullets in a matter of seconds.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Denver on Wednesday to highlight the legislation as part of his push for more gun control following December's Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

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  • Crimesider Staff

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