Colorado mass shooting suspect pleads guilty, avoids death penalty

Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes has offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Prosecutors have not accepted the offer because they may choose to pursue the death penalty.

“Prior to arraignment, Mr. Holmes made an offer to the prosecution to resolve this case by pleading guilty and spending the rest of his life in prison, without any opportunity for parole,” the documents read.

“If the prosecution elects not to pursue the death penalty, then it is Mr. Holmes’ position that this case could be resolved on April 1.”

Prosecutors have said they will make a decision on whether or not to seek the death penalty against the 25-year-old Holmes at a hearing April 1.

This month, a judge entered a standard plea of not guilty for Holmes, who is accused of a shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 injured on July 20, 2012.

In the documents filed Wednesday, his attorneys said they are still exploring a mental health defense, “and counsel will vigorously present and argue any and all appropriate defenses at a trial or sentencing proceeding, as necessary.”

“Nevertheless, Mr. Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion for all involved.”
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