In a ruling that comes as little surprise, the judge overseeing the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre has ordered that there is enough evidence against James Holmes to proceed to a trial.
In an order posted late Thursday, Judge William Sylvester wrote that “the People have carried their burden of proof and have established that there is probable cause to believe that Defendant committed the crimes charged.”
The ruling came after a three-day preliminary hearing this week that revealed new details about how Holmes allegedly planned for and carried out the movie theater shooting, including how investigators say he amassed an arsenal of guns and ammunition, how he booby-trapped his apartment to explode, and his bizarre behavior after his arrest.
Holmes is charged with 166 counts, including murder, attempted murder and other charges related to the July 20 shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded by gunfire. An additional 12 people suffered non-gunshot injuries.
One of the next legal steps is an arraignment, at which Holmes will enter a plea. The arraignment was originally expected to take place Friday morning.
Judge Sylvester indicated through a court spokesman that he would allow television and still cameras into the courtroom, providing the outside world the first images of Holmes since a July 23 hearing. Plans for cameras in court, however, were put on hold Thursday afternoon.
“The defense has notified the district attorney that it is not prepared to proceed to arraignment in this case by Friday,” wrote public defenders Daniel King, Tamara Brady and Kristen Nelson Thursday afternoon in a document objecting to cameras in court.
A hearing in the case will still take place Friday morning. In his order, Judge Sylvester said it should technically be considered an arraignment, but noted the defense has requested a continuance. Legal experts expect the judge will grant the continuance, delaying the arraignment and keeping cameras out of court for now.
Sylvester also ordered that Holmes be held without bail.
Holmes’ attorneys have said in court that the former University of Colorado neuroscience student is mentally ill. The district attorney overseeing the case has not yet announced whether Holmes, now 25, can face the death penalty.