Judge: DA can use evidence from Holmes' apartment

(AP) Judge: DA can use evidence from Holmes' apartment
By DAN ELLIOTT
Associated Press
DENVER
Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings can use evidence that police found in defendant James Holmes' apartment, which includes homemade bombs and a calendar with the day of the shootings highlighted, the judge in the case ruled.

In a ruling dated Friday, Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. rejected defense arguments that the apartment search was illegal because it began before police had a warrant.

Prosecutors argued the search was permissible because Holmes told them he had explosives at his apartment, and they didn't have time to wait for a warrant because of the potential danger.

They later did get a warrant.

Twelve people were killed and 70 injured in the July 20, 2012, attack at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Holmes, now 25, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple charges of murder and attempted murder. His attorneys have acknowledged he was the shooter but say he was in the midst of a psychotic episode.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The new ruling is another victory for the district attorney's office, which is looking for evidence to undermine Holmes' insanity claim. Prosecutors could argue that the calendar and the bombs _ which law-enforcement officers say were meant to divert first responders from the theater _ show the attack was planned and that Holmes understood the shootings were wrong.

Previously, Samour ruled items found in Holmes' car and statements he made to the officers who arrested him outside the theater can be used at his trial. Police have testified those statements included "No, it's just me" when they asked him if he had an accomplice.

The judge limited the use of statements Holmes made to detectives later, after he was taken to the police station. The statements have never been publicly disclosed, so it's not known how significant they are to the case.

Holmes' trial is scheduled for next year, with jury selection set to start in February.

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Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP

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