8:25 a.m. (MDT)

8:25 a.m. (MDT)

The parents of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes have been seen waiting in line to get into the suburban Denver courthouse where Holmes' long-awaited death penalty trial is getting underway.

Robert and Arlene Holmes of Rancho Penasquitos, California, have publicly pleaded for their son's life to be spared through a plea bargain. They called him a "human being gripped by a severe mental illness."

Shortly before their arrival, some TV reporters followed Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, the parents of shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, to the door of the Centennial courthouse, in violation of the strict ground rules for media coverage.

A woman in a suit came up and scolded them.

Opening statements in the 2012 shooting case are scheduled to begin Monday afternoon.

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7:50 a.m. (MDT)

A steady stream of people walked into the courthouse on a gray and drizzly morning on the opening day of the trial of James Holmes in the 2012 Colorado theater shooting.

They were dressed in suits and dresses, and jeans and sweatshirts. About 10 television satellite trucks were parked outside.

There were no deputies stationed at the roof as seen at previous hearings in the case at the courthouse in Centennial, south of Denver.

Holmes acknowledges killing 12 people and wounding 70 more a packed Aurora theater, but has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers will argue he was too addled by mental illness to tell right from wrong.