CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — After eight weeks of often dramatic and emotional testimony, prosecutors are wrapping up their case against Colorado theater gunman James Holmes.
Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 in July 2012 at a suburban Denver movie theater. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
In Colorado, the burden is on prosecutors to convince jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Holmes was sane when he opened fire on the crowded auditorium.
Here are some things to know as the prosecution prepares to rest its case Friday:
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. dismissed a fifth juror Wednesday, saying she wasn’t totally forthcoming with him when she said she recognized a witness who testified in May.
That leaves 19 jurors, including seven alternates.
Another juror was dismissed this week after her brother-in-law was shot in an armed robbery. Last week, three others were released amid concerns they were exposed to media coverage and might not have been truthful about it.
The latest juror to be dismissed told the judge on May 6 that she recognized a witness as the parent of a boy who attends the school where the juror works.
On Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from the second University of Colorado therapist to meet with Holmes while he was a neuroscience graduate student there.
Dr. Robert Feinstein said he went through a checklist to assess the risk that Holmes would hurt himself or others. He concluded there were no grounds to request an involuntary commitment.
Holmes didn’t mention that he was buying weapons or that he planned to attack the theater, Feinstein said.
Feinstein met with Holmes twice at the request of another university psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton.
Fenton had five meetings with Holmes, and Feinstein participated in two of them.
Feinstein said he suggested that Holmes begin taking an anti-psychotic drug because he might be having a nervous breakdown, but Holmes refused.
Ben Garcia, who befriended Holmes at the university, told jurors that Holmes maintained his quiet demeanor while dating another student, Gargi Datta. But after Datta and Holmes broke up in early 2012, “he seemed a little bit angrier,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he and Datta told Holmes he should see a therapist after Holmes told Datta about his concept of “human capital” — that someone could gain value by killing another person.
Garcia said Holmes told them he was already getting help.
Garcia also said Holmes told him he was having delusions, but Garcia said he didn’t know if Holmes was serious.
AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
The judge said Wednesday the massive proceedings are moving ahead of schedule.
Jury selection in the death penalty trial started Jan. 20, and the case was expected to run into September or October.
But Samour said his goal is to have a verdict and, if necessary, a sentence by the end of August.
Defense attorneys will open their case June 25. They expect it to take less than two weeks.
This story has been corrected to show the defense will start its case June 25, not July 25.
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