March 27, 2013 -- Defense attorneys for James Holmes said today the Aurora movie theater shooting suspect is willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison in order to avoid the death penalty.
"Prior to arraignment, Mr. Holmes made an offer to the prosecution to resolve this case by pleading guilty and spending the rest of his life in prison, without any opportunity for parole," Holmes' attorneys wrote in an Arapahoe County court filing today.
The case could be resolved as soon as the next hearing on April 1 if prosecutors accept the plea, Holmes' attorneys wrote.
"It appears the only impediment to a resolution of this case would be if the prosecution chooses to seek the death penalty," they said.
The Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office declined to comment on the case, citing a gag order.
Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding at least 58 when gunfire erupted in an Aurora, Colo., theater last July during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Holmes' physical appearance has evolved over his time in prison, visible only in rare court appearances. He has gone from wild, Joker-like orange and red hair in his first appearance to his most recent look of brown hair and a shaggy beard. He has sometimes looked bug-eyed and confused and other times so despondent and drowsy that people questioned whether he had been drugged.
His trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 5.