The trial for James Holmes, a UC Riverside alumni charged in a mass shooting at the opening night showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2014, over two years after the massacre took place.
Judge Carlos Samour noted that the trial date for Holmes might be further delayed as Holmes’ defense attorney is pursuing a second sanity evaluation on Holmes to be reviewed by the court.
Prosecutors had sought to order a death penalty for Holmes, who was charged with multiple accounts of first-degree murder and attempted murder for killing 12 people and wounding at least 70. However, Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
“As much as I know people are eager to have this trial take place … I also want to make sure we’re doing things right,” said Samour at a court hearing.
While at UCR, Holmes was a dean’s fellow, regent’s scholar and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society, an academic honor society. He graduated from UCR in 2010 with highest academic honors and a Bachelor of Arts degree in neuroscience. In 2011, he enrolled in a Ph.D. medical program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC).
AMC officials noted that a few months prior to the shooting, Holmes’ academic performance declined. He withdrew from the graduate program in neuroscience without further explanation.