The death penalty trial for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes continued for a second day Tuesday. Here’s a look at where things stand:
Prosecutors started calling witnesses, with some of the victims of the July 2012 attack taking the stand. Photos of the wounded and 911 calls from the theater were also played.
Katie Medley told the jury she was nine months pregnant when her husband was shot in the head while next to her at the “Batman” premiere. Her husband, Caleb, still can’t walk and has trouble talking. She spoke about her decision to leave him behind in the theater to save their baby. She later gave birth in the same hospital where Caleb was in a coma.
The defense did not question her or any of the people in the theater that night, perhaps to prevent prolonging such emotional testimony.
Holmes’ lawyers repeatedly objected to gruesome and tragic details in the testimony and evidence, including a 911 call’s shrieks and screams and a witness’s description of a “bloody victim” she saw. Judge Carlos Samour Jr. had warned jurors when the trial opened not to let sympathy or emotion sway them. However, he repeatedly overruled the defense objections, saying the evidence and description were relevant and fairly depict a horrific crime.
Holmes is charged with 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder.
Prosecutors filed two counts for each person killed and two for each person injured to expand their chances of getting convictions. On the murder charges, for instance, one count is for murder with deliberation, the other for murder with extreme indifference.
Holmes also is charged with possession of explosives and committing a crime of violence. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
If Holmes is convicted of murder, he could be sentenced to death — which prosecutors want — or to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
If he’s found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital. That means if he were someday declared sane, he could be released, although experts say that’s unlikely.
Under Colorado law, the jury will determine whether the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Holmes was sane, and therefore guilty. If so, they will decide on the sentence — death, or life without parole.
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