CRIME

James Holmes' Apartment Search By Bomb Squad Was Illegal: Lawyers

10/23/2013 01:19 pm ET
AP

Evidence that was gathered from Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes' apartment, including the explosives that Holmes had allegedly booby-trapped it with, should not be used against him, his lawyers say.

Defense attorneys argued in court Wednesday that police illegally entered Holmes' apartment when they utilized a bomb robot without a warrant in the hours and days after the shooting.

Prosecutors however argue that the urgent threat to public safety required immediate entry into the apartment.

Last week police officers testified that Holmes even helped them diffuse the bombs.

However their questioning of Holmes at the time was done without an attorney present and Holmes' lawyers are also asking that evidence gathered during that questioning be thrown out.

During testimony on Tuesday, FBI chemists said they found salt, glycerin, black powder, potassium permanganate, a form of plastic that had been melted into glue and a variety of chemicals from the apartment.

FBI supervisor Garrett Gumbinner also testified during an earlier preliminary hearing in January that the apartment had several bottles of gasoline, explosive devices and jars of chemicals that included napalm and gunpowder. Even the carpet was saturated with oil and gas.

“He said he rigged his apartment to explode or catch fire in order to divert police resources to his apartment," Gumbinner said.

Residents who lived in the same apartment complex as Holmes were not allowed to return their homes more than a week after the shooting and an unnamed law enforcement official told CNN at the time that the explosive set up looked like something seen in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges for the July 20 shooting at the midnight screening of "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises."

In a new filing that was made public on Tuesday Holmes' defense attorneys asked for more time to file roughly six more motions pertaining to Holmes' psychiatric evaluation.

"These motions involve very important and complex legal issues, many of which pertain to the death penalty and mental illness, and have never been filed or litigated before in the state of Colorado," reads the filing.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but to have Holmes executed they must prove to the jury that Holmes was legally sane at the time of the shootings.

Earlier on HuffPost:

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