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'Joker' hair is gone but Batman killing suspect keeps grin

JAMES Holmes, the suspect in a US cinema rampage which killed 12 people, smiled and glanced around court in a marked difference to his previous dazed and silent state.

His hair was no longer bright orange, but short and brown when he faced court in Centennial, Colorado.

Prosecutors have given up efforts to get access to one of Holmes notebooks, which they think gives details of a violent attack.

Holmes has been charged with 142 counts, including murder and attempted murder, in the attack at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie on June 20. Fifty-eight people were injured in the shooting.

Defence lawyers have said Holmes is mentally ill.

Prosecutors had wanted access to the notebook, which was sent by Holmes to a university psychiatrist .

But on August 30 a judge ruled that they could not disprove a doctor-patient relationship between Holmes and University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton.

Prosecutors had argued that the notebook is fair game because Holmes was not going to be undergoing therapy because he planned to be dead or in prison after the rampage.

But today, Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman told the judge that prosecutors do not want to delay proceedings.

If mental health becomes an issue, Mr Orman said, Holmes will have to waive any doctor-patient privilege.