Aurora Gunman “didn’t care who he killed”

Posted January 9, 2013 in Crime Criminal Law by

Courtroom sketch of accused Aurora gunman James Holmes

This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo. Investigators say Holmes opened fire during the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie on July 20, killing 12 people and wounding dozens. (AP Photo/Bill Robles, Pool)

“He didn’t care who he killed or how many he killed. He wanted to kill them all,” Assistant Dist. Atty. Karen Pearson said during the preliminary hearing for accused Aurora Theater gunman James Holmes.

Pearson said the prosecution could have brought as many as 1,500 charges against Holmes and proven them all, stating that there was “direct evidence for every single count in this case.”

The hearing concluded on Wednesday after three days of testimony from law enforcement officials on evidence they say ties Holmes to the massacre in Colorado last year.

The former University of Colorado neuroscience PhD student, 25, is expected to face trial for the attack that killed 12 and wounded dozens more at the midnight opening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20.

“He picked the perfect venue for this crime,” the prosecutor told the court, citing the packed crowds and limited escape routes inside the theater. “There were never going to be enough ambulances, enough police officers to get everyone out of there fast enough.”

The prosecution also on Wednesday showed the court a series of photos that Holmes took using his cell phone in the hours before the shooting: One self-portrait with his tongue out, one of him smiling with a handgun visible in the frame, another of weapons and body armor laid out on a sheet. There were also a number of photos of the Aurora Century 16 theater on his phone, which prosecutors claimed were evidence that Holmes had cased out the building in preparation for the attack.

Subscribe to the Criminal Law newsletterOver the previous two days of the hearing, witnesses for the prosecution described the scene in the immediate aftermath of the bloodbath in the theater and the meticulous steps that Holmes allegedly took to acquire an arsenal and booby trap his apartment with explosives.

The defense had been granted permission by the judge to call two witnesses who were expected to testify about Holmes’ mental health. However, by the end of the hearing defense attorneys opted not to call anyone to the stand, nor make any closing statements.

“This is neither the proper venue nor the time to put on a show or present some truncated defense,” Public Defender Daniel King told the court.

The judge is expected to rule on Friday if Holmes will stand trial for up to 166 counts of murder and attempted murder. If no plea bargain is reached, he could face the death penalty.

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