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Aurora Case on Hold While James Holmes Appeals Sanity Hearing

Colorado movie-massacre shooter James Holmes is appealing a judge's order for a second sanity evaluation, bogging down the timetable for a trial that was to start two months ago.

The court put the new psychiatric exam on hold pending the appeal and also postponed two hearings scheduled for next month on issues surrounding jury selection.

The trial, originally slated for February, is scheduled to begin Oct. 14, but it's not clear if the fight over the exam and other outstanding motions could cause further delays.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to capital murder charges in the July 2012 shooting during a midnight screening of a Batman sequel that left 12 people dead and more than 70 wounded or injured.

The graduate school dropout had a sanity evaluation last year, but Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said it was inadequate and ordered a second round over the defense's objections.

Holmes' legal team said in court papers made public Wednesday that it plans to file an appeal within 30 days.

The defense is also seeking a change of venue, arguing that Holmes cannot get a fair trial in the Denver suburbs.

Image: James Holmes
Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in court in Centennial, Colo., on June 4, 2013.Andy Cross / Denver Post pool via AP file
— Jack Chesnutt and Tracy Connor