Preliminary trial ends in case of alleged Aurora shooter
AURORA, Colo.—Prosecutors and defense attorneys just wrapped up a hearing to determine if the man accused of a mass shooting inside a movie theater should go to trial.
The preliminary hearing ended Wednesday after three days of testimony by police.
Tuesday, prosecutors played dramatic 911 tapes when the alleged gunman, James Holmes, opened fire inside the Aurora movie theater.
In one tape, 30 gunshots could be heard during the 27 second call.
Jessica Watts, cousin of one of the victims, said, “It’s horrific and only because it’s how many lives are being shattered at that exact moment.”
On another call, a 13-year-old girl tried to get instructions on CPR from dispatchers, but couldn’t hear the instructions over the chaos.
Experts say the calls will make a major impact if the case goes to trial.
Legal analyst Scott Robinson said, “Prosecutors are letting the defense know what they are in for if this case goes to trial.”
The hearing then moved to evidence to prove premeditation.
Investigators detailed how Holmes spent weeks preparing for the attack by pre-ordering his movie ticket and rigging his apartment with explosives.
Watts said, “That is a long time to plan to kill people at over 6,000 rounds of ammunition purchased. And the fact that it was done right down the street from the theater.”
Robinson said, “The prosecutors have so much evidence of premeditation in this case, they don’t even know what to do with it all.”
During closing arguments, prosecutor Karen Pearson told the judge, “He didn’t care who he killed. He intended to kill them all.”
In a surprising move, the defense did not call any witnesses and announced that it would not be providing any evidence for the hearing.
Now both sides face a trial with the possibility of the death penalty or a plea deal that would save the cost of a trial and avoid the grief of family members reliving the events.
Experts believe if the case goes to trial, Holmes’ attorney could use an insanity defense.
The judge overseeing the case against Holmes will rule Friday whether the state has presented sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Holmes is accused of opening fire inside the theater last July, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.