Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes makes his first court appearance in Aurora, Colorado, on 23 July 2012. File photo: RJ Sangosti

Centennial, Colorado - Defense lawyers declined to present any evidence or call any witnesses on Wednesday in the preliminary hearing for a former graduate student charged with shooting 12 people to death and wounding 58 others in a Colorado movie theater last summer.

Daniel King, leading the defense team for the accused gunman, James Holmes, told the judge after the prosecution had rested that he had decided this week's proceeding was “not the proper venue or time to put on a show or a truncated defense.”

Holmes' lawyers, seen by legal experts as preparing for an insanity defense, had indicated in recent court filings that they intended to call two witnesses to testify about their client's state of mind.- Reuters