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Judge in Colorado theater shooting scolds defense

Thursday - 7/11/2013, 5:33pm  ET

FILE - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes appears in court in Centennial, Colo. For the first time, lawyers for accused theater shooter James Holmes say he killed 12 people and wounded dozens more at an Aurora movie theater last summer. But Holmes' lawyers say he was "in the throes of a psychotic episode" at the time. The admission came in a motion filed Tuesday, July 9, 2013, but made public Wednesday, July 10. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)

DENVER (AP) -- The judge in the Colorado theater shootings has scolded defense lawyers for accusing him of having an improper conversation with the sheriff.

In an order made public Wednesday, Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said defense attorneys "improperly impugned the dignity of the court."

The defense had said Samour shouldn't have consulted privately with the Arapahoe County sheriff about courtroom security. It said the sheriff would've been a witness if Samour held a hearing on security precautions.

Samour rejected the defense request for a hearing. He says consulting with the sheriff on security was proper.

Samour is presiding over the death penalty case against James Holmes, accused of killing 12 and injuring 70 at a suburban Denver movie theater on July 20, 2012.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.


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