Alleged 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooter James Holmes May Plea Guilty: Report

James Holmes

Even before shooting suspect James Holmes, 24, was charged with 142 counts, including first-degree murder, some victims and their family members had retained lawyers to prepare for suits.

With the potential of the death penalty hanging over his head, the man accused of opening fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater has submitted a guilty plea to the prosecution.

The trial of James Holmes may end before it even begins.

The former University of Colorado student, accused of a mass movie theater shooting that took the lives of 12 patrons and injured 70 more in July, has submitted a guilty plea to the prosecutors in Arapahoe County. The filing, as first reported by a local Colorado television station, indicates that "Mr. Holmes is currently willing to resolve the case to bring the proceedings to a speedy and definite conclusion."

The plea has not yet been accepted by the prosecution, which may still opt to seek out the death penalty in the case. A judge initially entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Holmes could still change his plea to not guilty for reasons of insanity.

In December, more than 2,000 records relating to Holmes' case were released by the University of Colorado at Denver, though they were heavily redacted. Holmes allegedly meticulously planned the mass shooting, scouting the theater and wearing armor to shield himself from the carnage he inflicted. His apartment was heavily booby trapped with bombs that had to be exploded by authorities.