Holmes can wear civilian clothes at murder trial

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes can wear civilian clothes instead of a jail uniform at his trial, a judge said in a ruling made public Tuesday.

Requiring Holmes to wear a jail uniform would violate the principle that defendants are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, the judge said.

Holmes is accused of opening fire in a packed movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora on July 20, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

In each of his court appearances to date, Holmes has worn an orange or red jail suit, and his hands and feet have been shackled.

The defense also asked that he not be shackled during the trial scheduled to begin in February. No ruling has been released on that request.

The order on clothing was one of nine issued on Monday by Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr.

He granted a defense request for a list of prospective jurors as far ahead of the trial as possible. The lawyers suggested they wanted to review demographic data and other information while making sure court officials were following the laws in choosing the jury pool.

In addition, Samour granted a defense request that a jury pool be chosen exclusively for the Holmes trial. Usually, members of a single jury pool are divided up among several trials.

Samour denied a defense request that prospective jurors be sequestered, saying that would be impractical and noting that jury selection could take weeks.

He also denied a defense request to consolidate some of the murder charges and attempted murder charges.

Holmes must undergo an insanity evaluation at the state mental hospital before the trial can begin. It's not clear when the evaluation will begin or end, or whether it might delay the trial.

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