FBI tested brushes, debris from Holmes' apartment

DAN ELLIOTT
Associated Press
FILE -This June 4, 2013 file photo shows Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes in court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is returning to court Monday Oct. 21, 2013 for another round of legal skirmishes over what evidence can be used against him when he goes on trial for the Colorado theater shootings. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, File)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — FBI chemists say they were asked to test paintbrushes and small samples of debris found in the apartment of Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes.

The chemists testified Tuesday in a pretrial hearing to determine whether their testimony should be allowed at Holmes' trial.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack. At hearings this month, prosecutors and defense lawyers are arguing over evidence that could be used to weaken his insanity claim.

It's not clear how the chemists' testimony might fit into the larger sanity debate, or whether it might play another role.

The chemists say they found salt, a form of plastic and a variety of chemicals in their tests.

___

Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP