Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes makes his first court appearance at the Arapahoe County on July 23, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado.
Credit: RJ Sangosti

The man accused of opening fire at a Colorado theater and killing 12 people, James Holmes, tried to kill himself by ramming his head into the wall of his jail cell, prison sources say.

AP reported Holmes was taken to hospital on Tuesday after the self harm attempt, but had since been returned to prison.

TMZ said it was one of a number of "half hearted" suicide attempts by the 24-year-old. 

According to police, Holmes also reportedly stood on the bed in his cell and fell backwards in an attempt to crack his skull open, TMZ said. 

Holmes' hospitalization however resulted in his defense team calling for his routine pre-trial hearing tomorrow to be rescheduled. 

Reuters reported Holmes was due to face court tomorrow, but his attorney, Tamara Brady, asked the judge for a new date due to the hospitalizaton.

She offered no further details on why he was taken to hospital, but added: "It's not as simple as a migraine."

But Prosecutor Rich Orman objected to the motion, submitting that the defense should be required to reveal Holmes’ condition before asking for an adjournment.

The Los Angeles Times reported District Judge William Sylvester granted the delay and postponed the hearing to December 10.

He said he was convinced the situation was serious, and the defense did not have to reveal further details of Holmes' medical condition.

Holmes, a former student at the University of Colorado-Denver, is accused of opening fire at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded.

Holmes is charged with 166 counts, including two murder charges for each person killed.

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