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Colorado theater shooting lawyers head back to court

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 2, 2013 at 8:34 a.m.

this-courtroom-sketch-shows-suspect-james-holmes-right-being-escorted-into-court-by-a-sheriffs-deputy-for-a-motions-hearing-in-district-court-in-centennial-colo-on-thursday-aug-9-2012

This courtroom sketch shows suspect James Holmes, right, being escorted into court by a sheriff's deputy for a motions hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo., on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012.

— Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Colorado theater shooting head back to court Wednesday in advance of a crucial hearing in the case.

State District Judge William B. Sylvester has told both sides to appear before him to make sure everything is ready for next week’s preliminary hearing, when prosecutors will outline their case against the defendant, James Holmes.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Sylvester will decide whether the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 on July 20 in a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Prosecutors say he opened fire during a midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Night Rises.”

Holmes faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder and hasn’t yet entered a plea. His lawyers have said he suffers from mental illness.

The preliminary hearing, which starts Monday, will give the public its first officially sanctioned look at much of the evidence against Holmes.

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