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Lawyers battle in Colo. cinema case

James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Attorneys in the Colorado theater shooting debated Monday whether defendant James Holmes’s bank and phone records should be used as evidence in his trial.

The arguments at a pretrial hearing were part of a larger battle over any evidence that might strengthen or weaken Holmes’s claim that he was insane at the time of the 2012 attack on a suburban Denver theater.

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Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. His attorneys say he was having a psychotic episode during the attack.

Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, want to use any evidence they can find that might show Holmes planned the attack and knew it was a crime. But the defense argued Monday that the bank and phone records were obtained with flawed warrants.

The defense also contends that police illegally kept Holmes from seeing an attorney for more than 13 hours and that anything he told officers in that time can’t be used against him. A former Holmes attorney has testified she tried to tell police they could not speak to him. Police said they questioned Holmes anyway, without his attorney present. Prosecutors argue police had a duty to ask Holmes about possible accomplices and about bombs found at his apartment because lives were in danger.

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