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Holmes’s lawyers hint they’re not ready for trial

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A clean-shaven James Holmes sat quietly in court Monday as his lawyers hinted they might not be ready for his murder trial, scheduled to start in February.

Defense lawyers told Arapahoe County Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. they are rushing to complete pretrial motions and waiting for prosecutors to whittle down their list of potential trial witnesses, which now stands at about 4,000.

‘‘If we want this trial to go in February, something’s got to give,’’ defense lawyer Daniel King told Samour.

Holmes is accused of firing into a crowded movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora in July 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 70.

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He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

He underwent an evaluation at the state mental hospital, but the results have not been made public.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes looked tidier on Monday than in the past. He had bright orange hair during his first court appearance and later had a bushy beard and unruly hair. On Monday, his beard was gone and his dark hair was combed neatly back. Cameras were not allowed in court Monday.

Holmes’s lawyers asked the judge to give them until Nov. 20 to file motions and to set an October deadline for prosecutors to turn over a list of trial witnesses.

Prosecutors said they cannot submit a witness list until December. Samour said he would decide on the deadlines later.

The state hospital and the University of Colorado, Denver, where Holmes was a graduate student, had been ordered to give prosecutors Holmes’s mental health records Monday, but that also was delayed.

Associated Press