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Batman shooting accused gets time to prepare plea

Accused cinema gunman James Holmes made another brief court appearance a day after he was ordered to face trial, but his lawyers asked for more time to prepare a plea to charges he shot dead 12 people and wounded 58 others.

A Colorado state court judge granted a request to postpone arraignment for the 25-year-old former doctoral student in neuroscience to give his legal team more time to study the evidence and testimony presented by prosecutors at a preliminary hearing this week. The arraignment was set for March 12.

At the conclusion of yesterday's proceedings, a spectator in the section of the Arapahoe County district courtroom reserved for victims and their families shouted: "Rot in hell!"

The judge, William Sylvester, held a short private conference with lawyers in the hallway and reconvened the hearing to address the outburst, admonishing the spectator, Steve Hernandez, whose daughter was killed.

"I can only begin to imagine the emotions that are raging. I'm truly sorry for your loss," the judge said.

Sylvester ruled on Thursday that prosecutors had succeeded in establishing probable cause to believe that Holmes, described by his own lawyers as suffering from a mental illness, committed the crimes alleged against him and ordered that he remain held without bail to stand trial.

The ruling followed three days of wrenching testimony about the shooting, its bloody aftermath and the elaborate preparations that Holmes is accused of making for the attack.

Holmes is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from the July 20 rampage at the screening of Batman film The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

l A teacher and a member of school staff have been hailed heroes for confronting a student who planned to shoot two classmates at a California high school.

The 16-year-old,armed with a shotgun, walked into the school, shot one student and fired at others before a teacher and another staff member talked him into surrendering, officials said.

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Education

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