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James Holmes’ Attorneys Motion for New Judge Denied

The attorneys for accused theater shooter James Holmes filed a motion last week seeking to have the judge assigned to the case, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour, remove himself.  Citing Colorado statutory law and Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, the attorney argued that the judge is “prejudiced with respect to the case, the parties, or counsel.”  Specifically, the attorneys argued that “[T]hroughout the course of this litigation, the Court has frequently ruled against the defense.  While it is not unusual for a court to disagree with motions filed by the defense in a criminal case, it is neither common nor necessary for a court to take a tone in its orders that is as hostile and demeaning to defense counsel as the tone this Court has increasingly taken in this case.  Because the language in the Court’s recent orders reflects a heightened level of disdain that demonstrates the Court’s ‘bent of mind’ against the defense, Mr. Holmes believes that good cause exists for filing this motion, and that a change od judge is warranted.”

As examples of what the attorneys believe are evidence of the trial judge’s bias against them, the attorneys cited as examples the judge’s labeling a number of their motions as “frivolous,” the judge accusing the attorneys of “ridiculing the court” and being “satirical,” and referring to their proposed instructions to witnesses offering victim impact evidence as “insensitive, if not downright offensive.”

Not surprisingly Judge Samour denied the motion, finding it “meritless,” stating “[T]hat the undersigned is is straightforward and does not mince words in his ruling is not evidence of bias.”

The motion can be viewed in its entirety here, and Judge Samour’s Order can be viewed here.

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