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James Holmes' attorneys appeal sanity exam order

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:51 a.m. HST, Apr 23, 2014

DENVER >> Attorneys for Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes are appealing a judge's order requiring a second sanity evaluation to the state's Supreme Court.

In court filings dated Tuesday and released Wednesday, defense lawyers asked for 30 days to file the appeal, but Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. gave them until May 5, less than two weeks. Samour indefinitely postponed a hearing scheduled to start May 5 so the defense can focus on the appeal.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes underwent a mandatory sanity evaluation last year. The judge ruled the first exam was inadequate and ordered a second. Holmes' lawyers objected, saying the order was improper and violated Holmes' rights.

Also Wednesday, the court released orders by Samour that denied two more defense attempts to bar the death penalty in Holmes' case, and he denied a defense motion that could have allowed people who oppose the death penalty under any circumstances to serve on the jury.

Samour also denied a defense request to videotape potential jurors during questioning by attorneys.

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