James Holmes -- the monster behind the gruesome "Dark Knight" massacre last year -- has just entered a not guilty plea ... by reason of insanity.
A plea of not guilty had previously been entered on Holmes' behalf back in March by the judge because Holmes' lawyers weren't prepared to plead for him at the time.
The judge will decide whether to accept Holmes' new plea by May 28th.
Holmes killed 12 people and injured an additional 58 during the Aurora, Colorado shooting last July. He is charged with 142 crimes, including 24 1st degree murder counts, and 116 counts of attempted murder.
Prosecutors announced last month they would be seeking the death penalty.
4/1/2013 8:26 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
James Holmes should DIE ... this according to prosecutors who announced today they are seeking the death penalty for the Colorado movie theater shooter.
Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler explained, "It is my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death."
The announcement comes in the wake of a deal offered by Holmes' legal team -- in which the killer would plead guilty to murdering 12 people in exchange for life in prison.
The deal didn't sit well with prosecutors, who RIPPED Holmes' attorneys today ... accusing them of going public with the details of the attempted plea deal last week "for the intended purpose of generating predictable publicity."
Holmes' attorneys are expected to argue that the 25-year-old was legally insane at the time of the shooting and therefore shouldn't be sentenced to death.
I'll Plead GUILTY ...
to Avoid Death Penalty
3/27/2013 1:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is prepared to enter a guilty plea in the cold-blooded killings of 12 people in exchange for life in prison instead of the death penalty ... this according to Holmes' lawyer.
Holmes' legal team offered the plea deal to prosecutors during a court session earlier today ... but according to the AP, prosecutors did not immediately accept the offer.
Prosecutors have not commented on Holmes' offer yet -- but it's likely they will consult with the families of the victims before reaching a decision.
Besides the 12 people he killed, Holmes shot an additional 58 people in the Century movie theater in Aurora, CO on the night of July 20, 2012. He was charged with 24 counts of first degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.
Aurora Massacre Shooter
Not Guilty Plea
3/12/2013 9:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The judge in the Aurora shooting case in CO has entered a "not guilty" plea on gunman James Holmes' behalf.
The plea was entered today by default after Holmes' attorney said he wasn't ready to enter a plea by the judge's deadline.
The judge said Holmes -- who now has long hair and a giant beard -- may change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity at a later date if he chooses.
Holmes is charged with 142 crimes stemming from the Colorado shooting -- including 24 1st degree murder counts, and 116 counts of attempted murder. If convicted, he faces life in prison ... or execution.
Aurora Massacre Shooter
Tries to Kill Himself
in Jail Cell
11/15/2012 8:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
James Holmes -- the shooter in the Aurora movie theater massacre -- was hospitalized after several "half-hearted" suicide attempts ... this according to law enforcement.
According to cops, Holmes ran headfirst into a jail cell wall on Tuesday ... and while he sustained injuries ... they were not life-threatening.
Holmes also reportedly stood on the bed in his cell and fell backwards ... in an apparent attempt to crack his skull open. He failed.
Holmes -- who killed 12 people and injured 58 more during his July 20 shooting rampage -- has since been released from the hospital.
Aurora Massacre Victims
Splitting $5 Million
10/15/2012 10:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The families of the 12 people killed in the Aurora shooting massacre -- along with several people who suffered permanent injuries in the attack -- will split the majority of the $5 million in donations raised to assist the victims of the attack.
A mediator tasked with dividing the funds has announced the above-mentioned people will split 70% of the funds -- roughly $200k each.
The mediator says the rest of the cash will go to people who suffered physical injuries -- the more severe the injury, the more money they will receive.
Aside from the 12 people killed, 58 people were wounded in the July 20 shooting in Aurora, CO.
The mediator says ... due to limited funds, none of the money will go toward people who did not require overnight hospitalization ... and the cash will NOT be used to aid theater-goers who were physically unharmed, but claim they suffer from mental trauma.
As for the shooter James Holmes, he's still in custody facing murder charges.
'Dark Knight Rises' Massacre
First Lawsuits Filed Against
Colorado Movie Theater
9/22/2012 4:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Three people wounded in the "Dark Knight Rises" shooting spree that left 12 dead have filed a civil lawsuit against the movie theater, claiming the door James Holmes used to get into the theater should have had an alarm.
Denise Traynom, Brandon Axelrod and Joshua Nowlan also claim the theater should have had extra security for the midnight showing and failed to help moviegoers evacuate the theater after the shooting.
Traynom was wounded in the rear end, Axelrod suffered bone injuries to his right knee and ankle, while Nowlan’s right arm was nearly severed by a bullet. Nowlan was also injured in his left leg.
They're seeking unspecified damages.
The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Colorado, came on the same day the theater announced plans to re-open in 2013.
'Dark Knight' Shooter
No More ORANGE Hair
9/20/2012 11:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
James Holmes is orange no more ... the "Dark Knight" shooter appeared in court this morning WITHOUT the bizarre dye job he was sporting on the night of the massacre in Aurora.
Holmes -- a natural brunette -- appeared in court for a hearing about a notebook he sent to a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado before the July shooting ... wearing a buzz cut.
Prosecutors have argued the notebook contains crucial information about Holmes' state of mind before the shooting -- but Holmes' defense attorneys said the information is protected under doctor-patient privilege, and shouldn't be released.
Prosecutors gave up their fight for the notebook today, saying they didn't want to delay proceedings any further.
'Dark Knight' Massacre
SECOND Victim Hires
Casey Anthony Lawyer
8/20/2012 2:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Casey Anthony's old defense attorney is seeing double after the "Dark Knight" massacre in Aurora, CO -- TMZ has learned, Jose Baez has been hired by a second victim of the shooting.
41-year-old Marcus Weaver -- whom James Holmes shot twice in the upper shoulder during the tragedy -- tells TMZ, "Over the past 30 days of agony, along with very careful thought and consideration, I have hired Attorney Jose Baez as my legal counsel."
TMZ broke the story ... Baez has already been hired by a woman named Shirley Wygal -- whose 32-year-old daughter was shot and killed by Holmes.
Now, Weaver says, "I felt that the night of the incident, that the security at the theatre was lacking from the time I entered. I want answers, we ALL want answers. And I know Attorney Baez will do what ever he can to help with the fullest extent of the law."
He adds, "Every day, early in the morning or at night, I have a movie in my head of what happened. I wake up every night with nightmares. I don't think it will ever go away."
Weaver finally underwent surgery last week to remove the bullets, which were then taken by police as evidence. It's unclear whether he plans to sue the movie theater.
'Dark Knight Rises'
Victim's Family Hires
Casey Anthony Lawyer
8/20/2012 4:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The man who led Casey Anthony's defense team to victory in her murder case has officially been tapped to represent the mother of one of the "Dark Knight" massacre victims ... TMZ has learned.
Attorney Jose Baez is now representing Shirley Wygal -- whose 32-year-old daughter Rebecca Wingo (above, right) was shot and killed by James Holmes inside the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, CO.
As we previously reported ... Shirley believes the theater is partially to blame for the tragedy claiming the emergency exit doors should have been alarmed, or there should have been security guards posted next to them.
Wygal tells TMZ, "When police came that night with official word, Rebecca's baby asked, 'How did he get in?' Dissatisfied with the answer, she asked again. At just 5 years old, she wants to know how it could happen and so do I. If any entity had an obligation to protect the innocent and did not, then every survivor and loved one left behind must hold them accountable. The first step is a timely and thorough investigation."
She continues, "I've engaged a firm large enough to help us all. I am confident in their expertise and appreciate their making this a priority. Rebecca would love these attorneys. As a mom, she'd want her girls to have the truth. As a daughter, she'd insist I find that truth for them."
'Batman' Massacre Victim
To Megadeth Singer:
Don't BLAME Obama!
8/16/2012 10:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Megadeth singer Dave Mustaine is an idiot ... because Barack Obama is not to blame for the Aurora massacre ... so says one of the people who was shot in the theater that night.
TMZ spoke with Carli Richards ... who sustained multiple gunshot wounds when James Holmes opened fire during a screening of "Dark Knight Rises" last month.
After watching the footage of Mustaine blaming Obama for "staging" the Aurora shooting to push an anti-gun agenda, Richards is lashing back ... telling us, "Some people think the President is a good scapegoat but he didn't shoot me."
Richards adds, "It’s obviously kind of absurd and people who make up conspiracies just want attention."
"Everybody is emotional at this time and needs to blame somebody I guess. I don’t think they realize the consequences of not being responsible for your own actions and James Holmes needs to be held accountable for his, to whatever way the justice system deems fit."
Obama 'Staged' Aurora
8/15/2012 1:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dave Mustaine -- the lead singer of Megadeth -- believes Barack Obama "staged" the massacre in Aurora, CO in a sick, twisted plot to pass a gun ban.
Mustaine made the comments on stage at an August 7 performance in Singapore ... when he told the crowd, "Back in my country, my president ... he's trying to pass a gun ban, so he's staging all of these murders, like the 'Fast And Furious' thing down at the border ... Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there ... and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple."
He continued, "I don't know where I'm gonna live if America keeps going the way it's going because it looks like it's turning into Nazi America."
Obviously, Mustaine is not an Obama fan ... and recently bashed the President during an interview with Alex Jones ... saying, "With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake. And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.' Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now?"
'Batman' Shooter's Lawyers
Our Client Is INSANE
8/9/2012 2:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lawyers for James Holmes just stated in open court -- they believe their client suffers from a mental illness ... and they need more time to figure out what's wrong with him before entering a plea.
Holmes' attorneys made the announcement during a hearing today, in which several news outlets had assembled to argue that the judge in the case should unseal court documents that could reveal important details about the July shooting in Aurora, CO.
Both the prosecution and the defense wish to keep the documents under wraps while the case is pending.
While everyone was in court, Holmes' attorney also appealed to the judge on an unrelated note -- demanding prosecutors and investigators turn over ALL documents related to the case ... in order to help the defense team determine just how crazy their client is.
The lawyer said, "We cannot begin to assess the nature and the depth of Mr. Holmes' mental illness until we receive full disclosure of all the documents."
It's the first mention of Holmes' intent to pursue an insanity defense.