State

Jan 7, 2013 12:48 PM by Kirsten Bennett

Hearing underway for theater shooting suspect

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Prosecutors in Colorado are laying out their case against James Holmes, accused in the shooting rampage at a suburban Denver movie theater that left 12 people dead and dozens more wounded.

Holmes is facing more than 160 counts, including murder and attempted murder.

The preliminary hearing that began today is expected to last all week. It will allow a judge to determine whether the prosecution's case is strong enough to warrant a trial. But legal analysts say the evidence appears to be so strong that Holmes may accept a plea agreement before a trial can take place.

Family members of the victims and people who were injured in the shooting were lined up for seats in the courtroom before the hearing began.

The hearing will bring the first detailed public disclosure of the evidence against Holmes.

His attorneys have told the judge that he's mentally ill, but they haven't said whether they plan to use an insanity defense.

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