Judge: Items in Holmes’ car OK as trial evidence
DENVER (AP) – Items that police found in Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes’ car can be used as evidence in his trial, the judge in the case ruled Friday.
Police say they found an iPhone, a handgun, ammunition and other items in the white Hyundai, which was parked behind the theater where 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured.
Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. hasn’t ruled on whether prosecutors can use the contents of the phone, which include photos of Holmes with bright reddish-orange hair holding firearms.
Earlier Friday, Samour limited the use of statements Holmes made to detectives after he was taken to the police station. The statements have never been publicly disclosed, so it’s not known how significant they are to the case.
Holmes had at least three separate conversations with groups of officers after the shooting – first with the officers who arrested him, second with the two detectives at the police station, and the third with other officers more than 12 hours after his arrest.
Samour previously ruled that things Holmes said to the arresting officers can be used as evidence. Police have testified those statements included “No, it’s just me” when they asked him if he had an accomplice.
The judge hasn’t ruled on the third conversation.
Holmes is accused of opening fire in a packed theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora in July 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers have acknowledged he was the shooter but say he was seized by a psychotic episode.
His trial is scheduled next year, with jury selection set to start in February.
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