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Mar 17, 5:05 PM EDT

Opening statements in theater shooting case set for April


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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) -- Opening statements in the Colorado theater shooting case have been set for April 27 - at least a month earlier than expected in the death penalty case.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. made the decision on Tuesday and said the trial could run into September.

The trial was initially expected to open by early June.

Jury selection began Jan. 20. About 9,000 prospective jurors were summoned in what experts called the biggest jury pool in U.S. history.

Attorneys are questioning prospective jurors about their views on capital punishment and mental illness.

People selected must determine whether defendant James Holmes was legally insane during the 2012 attack that left 12 dead and 70 injured.

Samour has not yet ruled on a request by the defense to move the trial.

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