May 25, 2013
Accused Colorado massacre shooter posed with weapons
Self-portraits of accused Colorado movie house gunman James Holmes posing with firearms and body armor ended prosecutors' pretrial case against the former graduate student today, but defence lawyers declined to present evidence or witnesses of their own.
The pictures, which police said Holmes took of himself with an iPhone before his shooting rampage at a midnight showing of a "Batman" film last summer, capped three days of hearings in which prosecutors laid out their case for putting him on trial.
The onetime neuroscience doctoral student is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder for the 12 people who were slain and dozens of others wounded at the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
Prosecutor Karen Pearson said in her closing arguments that Holmes would have killed more people had his rifle not jammed, adding, "He certainly had the ammo to do so."
The July attack marked one of the most lethal mass shootings in US history and one of a string of mass shootings last year capped by the massacre of 20 children and six adults in December at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Wrapping up the prosecution's case against Holmes on Wednesday, Aurora police Sgt. Matthew Fyles ran through pictures Holmes took roughly six hours before the deadly assault on the Century 16 multiplex near his home.
In one picture, Holmes grinned while holding the muzzle of a handgun near his face. He stuck his tongue out in another photo.
His brightly dyed red hair was visible in both pictures, and he wore black contact lenses that made his pupils appear abnormally large. In another picture taken the same evening, his bed was strewn with guns, ammunition magazines, body armor, a gas mask and other gear.