Psychiatrist: Child’s death saddens Colorado theater shooter
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes regretted that he killed a young girl when he opened fire on a crowded movie theater and said he viewed children as “morally different” than other victims, a psychiatrist testified at Holmes’ trial Monday.
Holmes also stated that he believed he gets an economic value of anything his victims would be accomplished in life. That remark was shown jurors on videotape of interviews Holmes had with a state-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. William Reid, two years after the 2012 shooting.
“Human life has value. If you take lives away, that adds to your value,” Holmes said. “Anything they would have pursued gets canceled out and given to me.”
Reid already has testified that Holmes told him he regretted the attack and sometimes cried at night about it. He also has testified that he concluded Holmes was sane at the time of the shooting.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the July 20, 2012 attack in a suburban Denver movie theater, which left 12 people dead, including 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan. Seventy others were injured.
Reid videotaped his 22 hours of interviews with Holmes, and the sessions are being shown to jurors. That’s expected to last until Wednesday or Thursday.
In videotape shown Monday, Holmes refers to the shootings as a crime, as he did in another session shown to jurors last week. Those references, along with Holmes’ assessment of children as “morally different,” according to Reid, could help prosecutors support their argument that Holmes knew the shootings were wrong.
Defense lawyers say Holmes had severe schizophrenia, which distorted his sense of right and wrong. They want him to be committed to the state mental hospital. Prosecutors argue Holmes should be convicted and executed.
Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to tell right from wrong because of a mental disease or defect, or the inability to form the intent necessary to commit a crime because of a mental disease or defect.
Other highlights from the videotape shown Monday:
— Holmes says he took cellphone photos of himself and his weapons before the attack “to be remembered.”
— Holmes says he wore body armor and carried first aid equipment and tire spikes in case police shot at him and they followed him in his car. “I wanted to be protected in case it came to a shootout between the police and me,” he says. Officers arrested him without a struggle just outside the theater.
— He says he wanted to look dangerous so the audience wouldn’t try to subdue him. “You don’t want 400 people rushing you. I guess they could easily have overwhelmed me,” he says.
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