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James Holmes, who killed 12 people in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting, will face 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges at his March 12th arraignment hearing. As Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Litigation Shareholder Barry I. Slotnick explained to, the defense will likely prepare an insanity plea in the coming months.

“In this case it’s clear that the prosecution has a very heavy burden,” Slotnick said. “The jury is going to be told by the defense that he had no understanding of the nature of his acts and that he was absolutely beyond a reasonable human being.”

Read the full article – “James Holmes Hearing: Judge Orders Trial, But Insanity Debate Begins,” (January 11, 2013,

It remains unclear if prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case, though Slotnick said it’s possible the state may decide to try for a life sentence rather than risk a successful insanity defense. Even if Holmes’ defense is successful in securing an insanity plea, he will not be “free to go.”

“The fact of the matter is that if he’s acquitted of murder by reason of insanity, it doesn’t mean he goes home, Slotnick explained. “It means he goes into an institution.”