Defense and prosecution in the case against James Holmes decided both sides are ready to proceed with the preliminary hearing set for Jan. 7. It is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and should last about a week.On average, if there is a single defendant, the preliminary hearing lasts one day.
During a preliminary hearing, various evidence is presented in court and witnesses testify. Essentially, it is when the prosecution presents to the judge what they have and if they have enough to move forward. Since the overwhelming majority of the evidentiary documents in this case have been sealed, the hearing could reveal a lot of information.
Some documents in this case have been available to the public. As a rule, they have not contained any details of evidence in this case.
According to the prosecution, they plan on showing videos and photos of the shooting as well as playing 911 calls from the tragedy and interviewing witnesses.
Three different courtrooms will be used during this preliminary hearing. The largest courtroom - which holds 96 people - will be utilized, as well as an assembly room that's capable of holding about 330 people and another courtroom which holds about 60. The assembly room will be used to hold mostly victims' families.
Holmes, as any defendant, could have opted out of having a preliminary hearing and move on towards arraignment - where the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. The latest high-profile case where this happened was the case of former Arapahoe County Sheriff Pat Sullivan, who waved his right to a preliminary hearing.
Wednesday's hearing lasted less than an hour. Holmes showed up looking disheveled. He has dark hair again, and the orange dye seems to have disappeared from his hair. He also had a dark, full beard.