CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Defense attorneys for James E. Holmes, accused in the Aurora movie theater shooting, have offered a guilty plea and life in prison without parole if prosecutors do not seek the death penalty against him, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
The filing comes just days before the April 1 deadline newly elected Dist. Atty. George Brauchler of the 18th Judicial District gave for his decision on whether he will seek the death penalty against Holmes.
The defense said in its court document that the standing offer to prosecutors has been in place for weeks. The prosecution has not agreed to the offer, the document said.
Holmes, 25, a former neuroscience doctoral student at the University of Colorado-Denver, is charged with 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons violations in connection with the July 20 mass shooting in a packed suburban movie theater. Twelve people died and 70 were injured in a massacre that captured worldwide horror and has become a touchstone in the current national gun debate.
Two weeks ago, an impatient Chief Judge William Sylvester, of the state’s 18thJudicial District, entered a not guilty plea on Holmes' behalf at an arraignment -- after defense lawyers said they were not yet prepared to enter a plea. The arraignment had been postponed several times prior and the judge said the case needed to move forward.