Aurora Theater Shooting Update: Jurors May View Disturbing Selfies as Evidence

Approximately six hours prior to entering an Aurora theater and fatally shooting 12 moviegoers, gunman James Holmes snapped eerie selfies on his cellphone. In court documents released on Monday, the judge ruled that the images, along with Holmes’ computer data and bank records, may be used as evidence in court.

In the most famous image, “Holmes wore black contact lenses and a black stocking cap, with two tufts of his orange-dyed hair sticking out like a pair of horns,” <em>The Associated Press</em> reports. Another image shows Holmes holding up a gun and smiling; a third includes some of Holmes’ weapons, a shotgun and an assault rifle, arranged on a red sheet.

According to NBC News, Holmes’ defense attorneys made eight separate attempts to prevent the cellphone images, computer data, and bank records from making an appearance. “Defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued the warrant used to seize the cellphone records was overly broad,” NBC adds. The judge ruled against the defense on Friday; the public was granted access to the rulings and court documents on Monday.

In addition to the eerie images, Holmes’ captured at least three weeks of theater surveillance on his cellphone prior to the Aurora shooting, The Associated Press reveals.

“Holmes, a 26-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder. His attorneys have acknowledged he was the shooter but said he was in the grip of a psychotic episode,” The Associated Press says of the upcoming trial. Holmes open fired in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20, 2012 during the midnight showing and premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70. If the prosecution wins, Holmes will be subject to the death penalty.

The exact dates of the trial proceedings are still up in the air. Both sides continue to go through necessary preparations and legal motions. The Associated Press speculates that the cellphone images, though disturbing, may not be the most revealing evidence. An evaluation of Holmes’ mental health, executed by a state hospital, is likely to play a much more critical role, The Associated Press explains.

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/10/us-usa-colorado-shooting-idUSBREA1920320140210
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-james-holmes-colorado-shooting-20140210,0,5121018.story#axzz2t1StY2ez
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/judge-allows-holmes-selfies-evidence-theater-shooting-n26671

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