The Colorado Movie Theater Massacre Case
This Monday, Arapahoe County prosecutors are expected to file formal charges against James Holmes, the suspected gunman in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre. Holmes has been in custody since his arrest in the early morning hours of July 20.
Over the past week, law enforcement and media has uncovered details alternately chilling and inspiring. While SWAT teams slowly and carefully detonated the bombs intended to kill police and destroy evidence, women spoke out about the courageous men who used their bodies as shields and protected their girlfriends with their lives. When a notebook, filled with detailed drawings and descriptions of the attack was discovered, so too did we learn that the youngest victim of the attack, a three-month-old baby, had survived and was healthy.
The events of the night are now familiar. As fans crowded the multiplex for a midnight screening of the new Batman movie, a man in costume escaped notice. The theater dimmed, and the movie began. Credits were rolling when tear gas canisters rolled under the seats. In the confusion, the costumed man drew his weapons — he was armed with four firearms, handguns and assault rifles — and began unloading bullets into the crowd.
At first, some thought it was a stunt, part of the theater’s promotion of the movie. Moments later, it became clear that it was all lethally real.
Some rushed to the door, others hid and a few protected those they loved from the bullets. Police and first responders arrested the gunman, a 24-year-old former University of Colorado Ph.D. student named James Holmes.
The nation got its first look at the alleged shooter on Monday, when Holmes appeared in court with wild orange hair and a dazed, disconnected demeanor. Prosecutors asked the court for more time to investigate the case before they filed official charges.
On Monday the legal case will get underway and Wild About Trial will be covering it from arraignment through conviction. We will be analyzing and discussing the facts of the case, the evidence against Holmes, and his potential defenses, such as a not guilty by reason of insanity plea. Our team of legal experts will also be looking at Colorado’s gun laws and whether Holmes will be eligible for the death penalty.
Kelly Sheahen Gerner
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