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Aurora theater massacre suspect James Eagan Holmes hospitalized

Handout / Reuters

James Holmes is seen in this undated police handout photo.

 

Updated at 6:44 a.m. ET: CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Accused Colorado theater gunman James Eagan Holmes was taken to the hospital on Tuesday for a medical condition that rendered him unable to attend a court hearing set for two days later, his lawyers told an emergency hearing on Wednesday.

The lawyers, explaining in vague terms the unspecified sudden developments they said caused his condition, requested a delay in a routine pre-trial hearing set for Thursday. There was no immediate word on Holmes' current condition.

"What occurred was mid-day yesterday. We were informed of a situation that involved a trip to a hospital," Holmes' attorney Tamara Brady said in court, giving scant further details but adding: "It's not as simple as a migraine."

Holmes, a 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, is accused of opening fire inside a suburban Denver movie theater during a midnight screening of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in July, killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.


The Aurora, Colo., rampage was one of the bloodiest acts of gun violence in the United States in recent years.

Holmes' attorneys filed an emergency motion earlier on Wednesday seeking to delay a pre-trial hearing in his case, citing the unspecified new condition that has left him unable to appear in court.

A judge approved the motion and set a new hearing for December 10. Holmes' attorneys did not provide further details in their motion, citing legal, medical, and psychological privilege.

"As a result of developments over the past 24 hours, Mr. Holmes is in a condition that renders him unable to be present in court for tomorrow's hearing," Holmes' lawyers wrote in the delay motion.

Another of Holmes' attorneys, public defender Daniel King, did not respond to reporters who asked if Holmes was still in the hospital.

Prosecutors had objected to the motion, saying it should be denied unless more detailed information was provided on Holmes' condition than was contained in the defense request.

"It is not clear whether it is claimed he is suffering from a physical medical condition, a mental condition, whether he is suffering from a negative emotional reaction to his circumstances, or anything other than he has some kind of 'condition,'" prosecutors wrote in their response.

Prosecutors have previously depicted Holmes as a young man whose once promising academic career was in tatters at the time of the shooting. He failed oral board exams for graduate school in June and a professor suggested he may not have been a good fit for his competitive doctorate program.

Holmes then began a voluntary withdrawal from the school and amassed an arsenal of weapons as part of "a detailed and complex" plan to commit mass murder, prosecutors charge.

Holmes has yet to enter a plea in the case, and prosecutors have not indicated whether they will seek the death penalty.

Holmes' lawyers, who analysts have suggested may be laying the groundwork for an insanity defense, have said Holmes suffers from mental illness and sought to get help before the shooting.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, asked about Holmes' condition, told Reuters he could not release any information, citing privacy issues and jail security. Holmes was being held at the Arapahoe County jail.

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