Published: Jan 07, 2013 10:53 AM EST

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - A preliminary hearing is set to begin today for the former graduate student accused of killing 12 people and wounding dozens in a July attack on a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

James Holmes is charged with more than 160 counts, including murder and attempted murder.

The hearing is expected to take all week. Afterward, the judge will rule whether the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial.

Legal analysts say the hearing could set the stage for a negotiated plea agreement by giving each side a better understanding of the other's case.

Many survivors and family members of the dead are expected to attend.