News Column

James Holmes to Face Trial in Aurora Massacre

Jan 11, 2013
James Holmes

James Holmes will face trial in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 58, a judge ruled, ordering Holmes arraigned Friday.

Chief Judge William Sylvester of Colorado's 18th Judicial District said Thursday prosecutors established probable cause to believe the crime was committed and could now proceed with all 166 felony counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes they filed against him.

"The proof is evident or the presumption is great that [Holmes] committed the crimes charged," Sylvester said in a 61-page ruling.

The ruling's full text can be found at tinyurl.com/ac785ub.

Sylvester ordered Holmes, 25, to continue to be held without bail and to be formally arraigned on all counts at 9 a.m. MST.

Holmes, who has not entered a plea, will have to enter a plea at that time. His attorneys haven't said if he will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Earlier Thursday they filed a motion seeking a delay in the arraignment.

After the arraignment, prosecutors will have 63 days to say if they intend to seek the death penalty, The Denver Post reported.

Sylvester's decision came after a three-day preliminary hearing that ended Wednesday. That hearing sought to determine if the prosecution's case was strong enough to put Holmes on trial.

During the hearing, prosecutors tied Holmes to weapons found at the theater after the shooting. They also showed cellphone pictures of Holmes posing with guns and body armor hours before the shooting, as well as a theater surveillance video showing Holmes entering the movie complex just after midnight, about a half-hour before the shootings.

Police said he later exited an emergency door, propped it open and went to his car in the rear parking lot to dress in tactical gear and arm himself.

The July 20, 2012, mass shooting inside the Century movie theater during a midnight screening of the film "The Dark Knight Rises" was among the largest mass shootings in U.S. history, although it has been overshadowed by later attacks, including last month's Newtown, Conn., massacre of 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students and six school employees.

Holmes was arrested outside the theater minutes after the shooting. He was dressed entirely in black body armor, much like the SWAT team of police that responded.



Source: Copyright United Press International 2013


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