Aurora Shooting Trial: James Holmes’ Insanity Plea Challenged in Opening … – ABC News
The prosecution launched into its opening statements in the Aurora movie theater shooting trial today, with the district attorney laying out how shooter James Holmes was declared sane by multiple state-appointed doctors.
Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, meaning he acknowledges killing 12 and injuring 70 others during the July 2012 shooting but believes he was not sane at the time.
District Attorney George Brauchler took that claim to task in the prosecution’s opening statements, highlighting the judgment that came from two psychiatrists who spent 50 hours with Holmes.
“Both of them said the same thing: that that guy was sane when he tried to murder all those people in the theater back in July of 2012,” Brauchler said.
At one point, Brauchler shows Holmes speaking during an interview with a different doctor where Holmes is heard saying the wounded were “collateral damage” and “I only count fatalities.”
Before going into Holmes’ biography, Brauchler gave brief descriptions of some of the shooter’s 12 victims, with their photos shown on a screen for the jury.
Holmes was present in court today for the opening of his trial, and looked dramatically different from his earlier court appearances.
Holmes, who has previously been seen wearing an orange prison jumpsuit in various court hearings, was wearing khakis, a blue-and-white striped button-down shirt and glasses. Today he also had a small mustache and beard.
His new look comes in stark contrast to his earlier appearances, when his unkempt hair was dyed bright orange.
Victims’ relatives were not allowed in this morning’s hearing but will be seated in court for the trial. Each seat has a decorum notice taped to the back, warning audience members that they may be banned from court if they make any audible comments or have an outburst.
Holmes has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, which means he acknowledges killing 12 people and injuring 70 more inside a movie theater in July 2012.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. If he is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be committed indefinitely to a state mental institution. But if he were later deemed sane, he could, theoretically, be released, though legal experts say that is unlikely.
ABC News’ Carol McKinley contributed to this report.
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