Courtroom sketch of James Holmes

(Sketch: Courtesy of Bill Robles)
The defense in the Aurora theater shooting trial is taking its opposition to one of the judge’s rulings to the state Supreme Court. They object to an order from Judge Carlos Samour granting a new psychological evaluation of their client, James Holmes.

This latest twist in the slow-moving case started when the prosecution objected to one of the doctors appointed to evaluate Holmes’ mental state at the time of the attack. Prosecutors accused psychiatrist Jeffrey Metzner of bias and called his assessment unfair and inadequate.

Judge Samour agreed that there were weaknesses in Metzner's evaluation and ordered a second one. In a motion filed this week, defense attorneys say they plan to appeal that ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court in the next thirty days. The new evaluation is on hold during this process.

In other documents released this week, Judge Carlos Samour waved off several attempts by the defense to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty in this case, ruling them “meritless.”

Holmes faces 164 charges of murder or attempted murder for the attack, which claimed 12 lives and left 70 people injured.