SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 2, 2013

Colorado prosecutors seek execution in theater attack

(Continued)

But the prospect of a longer legal battle troubled others such as Pierce O’Farrill, who was shot three times.

“It could be 10 or 15 years before he’s executed. I would be in my 40s and I’m planning to have a family, and the thought of having to look back and reliving everything at that point in my life, it would be difficult,” he said.

Legal observers said Holmes’ lawyers publicly offered a guilty plea in what may have been a bid to gain support among victims’ families for a deal that would spare them a painful trial and lengthy appeals.

The prosecution and the defense could still reach a deal before the case goes to trial.

Holmes’ lawyers have indicated in court papers that they may instead pursue a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. But that carries great risk: Prosecutors could argue that Holmes methodically planned his attack, casing the theater, stockpiling weapons and booby-trapping his apartment with explosives.

The judge newly assigned to the case, Carlos Samour Jr., warned defense lawyers that if they want to change Holmes’ plea, the longer they wait the harder it will be to convince him to accept it.

If Holmes is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be sent to the state mental hospital, then returned to prison after treatment.

Colorado has three people on death row but has executed just one person over the past 45 years, in 1997.

Samour is also considering whether a New York-based Fox News reporter should have to testify about how she obtained confidential information about Holmes.

Jana Winter cited anonymous law enforcement officials in reporting that Holmes had sent a psychiatrist a notebook of drawings that foreshadowed the attack. Holmes’ lawyers want to know who told Winter about the notebook, arguing that that person violated a gag order.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • City gets four bids for McKay School BEVERLY -- In the latest round of bids for the McKay School property, the city will consider four new proposals it received last week. The most recent proposals mark the fourth time the city has reviewed bids on the property and the second effort for

    August 20, 2014

  • Police to put down their pens, write electronic tickets BOSTON -- State troopers will soon toss handwritten tickets in favor of electronic citations to save money and time, and local police across the state could eventually follow suit. State police using the system will swipe or scan a driver's license t

    August 20, 2014

  • 140819_SN_DLE_VAPOR2 No 'butts' about it: Vapor stores pop up despite e-cig concerns Michael Greene sells e-cigarettes because they saved his life. And if they were available in the United States 17 years ago, they might have also spared his father, who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years. "If you put too many regulati

    August 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • 140819_SN_DLE_MURPHY4 109 days, 2 new lungs later, Essex Deputy Sheriff Murphy comes home

    Dozens of friends and family members lined up on Balcomb Street Tuesday evening to greet Newton Murphy as he arrived home from his double lung transplant. Murphy, the Essex County deputy sheriff, had been in the hospital for 109 days after his surge

    August 20, 2014 8 Photos

  • Sex offender Matthew Delima, who fled with teen, gets 2-10 years

    SALEM -- A judge Tuesday returned a homeless Level 3 sex offender to state prison for two to 10 years, but he said that after reading police reports and other records in the case, he would have imposed even more time. The reason Judge Timothy Feeley

    August 20, 2014 3 Stories