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James Holmes, Colorado Shooting Suspect, Is Mentally Ill, His Attorneys Say

The attorneys for the James Holmes, the alleged Colorado shooter, say their client is mentally ill.

The AP reports the disclosure came during a hearing today at the Arapahoe (Colo.) County Courthouse in which news organizations, including NPR, were asking for documents in the case to be unsealed.

The AP adds:

"Holmes had the same dazed demeanor that he has had in previous court appearances.

"The shooting during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie left 12 people dead and 58 others injured. Holmes, a 24-year-old former Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder."

The Aurora Sentinel reports that the judge did not rule on whether to unseal the documents and gave no indication when that decision might be made.

Denver's 9 News reports that at issue are the public's right to know and whether releasing the documents could taint a potential jury pool.

The judge in the case has already issued a gag order, barring all parties from talking about the case.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.