(AURORA, Colo.) — Defense attorneys and prosecutors argued Monday over two online dating profiles allegedly set up by accused Aurora, Colo., theater shooting suspect James Holmes.
Prosecutors want the profiles from Match.com and AdultFriendFinder.com admitted as evidence during his murder trial. Both profiles included the phrase “Will you visit me in prison?” and could be used by prosecutors to show that Holmes — who has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity — knew what he was doing was wrong.
Defense attorneys argued the searches of the dating profiles violated Holmes’ constitutional rights.
Holmes is accused of opening fire in a crowded Aurora movie theater screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. Twelve people were killed and 70 were injured. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
In addition on Monday, prosecutors received mental health records from the University of Colorado, where Holmes was once enrolled as a neuroscience student. Representatives from a state mental hospital that recently administered a sanity evaluation to Holmes also handed over records to prosecutors.
As many as 6,000 potential jurors could be summoned for the trial, the judge overseeing the case said on Monday. Judge Carlos Samour said he would seat a jury of 12 members and 12 alternates.
Prosecutor Karen Pearson said on Monday that she expects the trial, currently scheduled to start in February, to last three months.
“I think that’s wishful thinking,” said Holmes’ public defender Daniel King, citing the vast number of potential witnesses — about 4,000 — that the state has said may be called to testify.
Judge Samour asked prosecutors to narrow their list of potential witnesses by Jan. 3.
Monday’s session kicked off a series of court hearings in the case expected to last the next few weeks. The sides will argue over various defense motions asking the judge to throw out evidence, including searches of Holmes’ cellphones, computers, car and apartment. Defense attorneys also want statements Holmes made to detectives and FBI agents ruled inadmissible.
During the hearing, Holmes, dressed in a red jail jumpsuit and sporting a beard, sat quietly next to his attorneys and did not show any emotion. Five armed court deputies were posted around the courtroom.
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