The pre-trial hearing for alleged Aurora theater gunman James Holmes wrapped up Wednesday. Three days of dramatic testimony concluded with newly released photos of Holmes that disturbed some of the victims’ families. Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus was in the courtroom.
This is a transcript of Ben's report:
Reporter Ben Markus: In the days before the shooting, Holmes took pictures of himself dressed in SWAT-like tactical gear, wearing black contact lenses, his hair colored bright orange, holding weapons he allegedly used in the attack. Caren Teves, whose son Alex was killed in the theater, had a clear view of Holmes in court as the photos were shown.
Caren Teves: When he sees himself he gets very excited, and his eyes crinkle. You know when you’re trying to smirk, and just your eyes are the windows to the soul, and you could see that he was very delighted in seeing himself in that manner.
Reporter: Prosecutors used the preliminary hearing to paint Holmes as cold and calculating, devoting countless hours to plotting mass murder. Holmes’ public defenders decided not to call any witnesses to back up a possible insanity plea. Karen Steinhauser, a prosecuting attorney in Denver for 20 years, says they didn't need to.
Karen Steinhauser: They were able to get the information that they wanted to get through their cross examination of other witnesses, so that they did not need to call anybody else.
Reporter: Officers testified that Holmes’ behavior was odd during interrogations. He played puppets with the paper bags put on his hands to preserve possible gunshot residue as evidence. He tried to stick a staple into an electrical outlet. But Tom Teves, the father of shooting victim Alex Teves, doesn't believe Holmes was insane at the time of the attack.
Tom Teves: And we want to call him crazy because we want to make that feel better in our society, but we have to accept the fact that there’s evil people in our society who enjoy killing any type of living thing, but that doesn’t make him crazy.
Reporter: Whether or not the case goes to a full trial is now in the judge’s hands. He’s expected to issue an order by Friday morning, when another hearing is scheduled - and when Holmes may enter a plea.