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Theatre shooting hearing faces delay

DENVER – A hearing to decide if the man accused of opening fire on a Colorado movie theatre should stand trial might not be held until January.

James Holmes.

A lawyer for Holmes told the judge in the case today that the defence must review thousands of pages of evidence before a preliminary hearing can be held. That preliminary hearing is currently scheduled for Nov. 13.

“We have not begun to understand the nature and depth of Mr. Holmes’ mental illness,” public defender Daniel King said.

Prosecutors said they, too, could use more time to gather evidence.

Judge William Sylvester says he’ll decide later this month whether to delay the hearing until January. The hearing will consist of a public airing of evidence against Holmes.

Sylvester set Jan. 7, 2013, as the potential new date for the hearing if he decides to delay it. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 25.

The 24-year-old is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in the July 20 shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He has yet to enter a plea.

Holmes appeared in court today in leg shackles and a red jail jumpsuit. He still has short brown hair, long sideburns and a mustache.

He looked straight ahead at no one in particular. He periodically widened his eyes, causing wrinkles in his forehead.

Also today, mediator Ken Feinberg begins meeting with shooting victims and their families as he decides how to distribute $5 million in charitable donations to them. (CBS)

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