By Keith Coffman
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (Reuters) - Accused Colorado shooter James Holmes, charged with murder over a shooting rampage last month at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, has a "mental illness" and tried to get help before the shootings, his defense attorney said in court on Thursday.
Holmes, who is accused of opening fire at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in the suburb of Aurora, was present during a hearing in which a judge was considering a request by 20 media organizations to unseal documents related to his case.
Holmes' public defender, Daniel King, repeatedly made references to his client's unspecified mental illness.
"He tried to get help with his mental illness," King said.
Twelve people died and 58 others were wounded in the shooting rampage.
Wearing maroon prison garb and shackled at his hands and ankles, with his dyed hair fading to pink in some places from its original reddish-orange, Holmes appeared unshaven.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)