Will The Louisiana Theater Shooting Affect Jurors In The Aurora Trial?

Photo: Louisiana Theater Shooting Bouquet
A bouquet of flowers outside The Grand 16 movie theater in Lafayette, La., Sunday, July 26, 2015, where John Russell Houser is accused of opening fire on the audience during a screening of "Trainwreck" with a semi-automatic handgun.

Twelve jurors said they had seen or heard about Thursday's shooting through news reports or from friends or family but said they quickly turned away or ended those conversations.

One woman acknowledged that she "wasn't thinking" when she skimmed an article about the Lafayette shooting that killed two and wounded nine. She mentioned it to her husband, who said he didn't bring it up because he didn't think she should know about it.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. rejected a defense motion to remove her, partly because she didn't remember if she read about it before jurors were ordered Friday to avoid media coverage of events similar to the Colorado attack.

The jury is considering whether Holmes should serve life in prison without parole or be executed for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at a crowded movie premiere in 2012.

Attorneys for James Holmes called a psychiatrist to the stand who found Holmes legally sane at the time of the shooting attack that killed 12 people and injured 70. Dr. Jeffrey Metzner previously testified for prosecutors that Holmes, despite his mental illness, knew right from wrong and therefore met the legal definition of sanity under Colorado law.

"His functioning was so impaired that he thought it was an acceptable idea to plan mass murder and kill people, and think that that was OK to do," Metzner said. He said it was his belief that Holmes was delusional while planning and carrying out the attack, even if he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Jurors have also heard from about a dozen witnesses who knew Holmes as a boy. His attorneys have even called him “Jimmy" and shown class pictures of him growing up. And Chris Holmes, James Holmes' sister, is testifying for the first time as his lawyers try to persuade jurors to spare his life.

Their parents have attended every day of James Holmes' trial, but the family has not spoken publicly. The 22-year-old sister described family photographs displayed in court, including one of a vacation to Hawaii.