Three jurors dismissed from Colorado movie theater shooting trial

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A photograph inside the empty courtroom 201 in the Arapahoe County Justice Center, Colorado, where James Holmes will face over 160 charges after the mass shooting in July, 2012 at a movie theatre in Aurora. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 12 people were killed and 58 others injured.

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (CNN) — Three jurors were dismissed Tuesday afternoon by the judge presiding over the James Holmes murder trial.

Judge Carlos Samour received a note from a juror who reported another juror had talked with her husband on the phone last week about a tweet posted by prosecutor George Brauchler. Juror 872 didn’t report the conversation to the judge and was dismissed.

Another juror who could hear the two talking — juror 872 used her speakerphone — also was dismissed after denying she heard the discussion about the tweet. She told the judge she and the other juror only only talked about shoes and clothes and sometimes court scheduling. The judge didn’t think she was credible and let her go.

A third juror was also dismissed.

There are now 21 jurors, nine of whom are alternates.

After receiving the note, the judge dismissed the jury for a half-hour break so attorneys could discuss the situation before court resumed.

Holmes, 27, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, is standing trial on charges of capital murder and other offenses. He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” in Aurora, Colorado, on June 20, 2012. He faces 165 counts.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Holmes admits to the shootings but has said he was suffering “a psychotic episode” at the time. Jurors are faced with the question of whether he knew his actions were wrong.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

 

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