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Lawyers for the suspect in the Colorado cinema shootings have said James Holmes will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. They plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13 hearing.
Holmes could face the death penalty if convicted of more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder in a trial set to begin in February.
If the judge accepts the insanity plea Holmes would go to a state mental hospital for an evaluation of whether he was insane at the time of the July 20 shootings.
A jury could still find Holmes guilty even if he is found insane.
Prosecutors say Holmes spent months methodically gathering a stockpile of weapons and ammunition, and rigged an elaborate, explosive trap in his apartment.