More Emotional Testimony As Theater Shooting Sentencing Phase Nears Close

Photo: Tom Teves, Aurora Theater Shooting Verdicts
After the verdicts were handed down in the Aurora theater shooting massacre, Tom Teves and his wife Caren, who lost their son Alex in the attack, spoke to reporters. Caren also testified in the sentencing phase of the trial.

There was another emotional day of testimony Wednesday from relatives of the 12 people killed in the Aurora theater shooting as the sentencing phase of the trial wrapped up. The mother of the youngest victim said she doesn't know who she is anymore.

Ashley Moser was at the movie with her daughter, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and was paralyzed and lost her unborn baby in the July 2012 attack.

Speaking in a wheelchair, she testified Wednesday that being a mother is all she knew how to be in her adult life. She was 18 when she had Veronica.

The mother of a 24-year-old man killed in the attack says she misses everything about her son and is petrified she will someday forget the sound of his laughter.

Caren Teves says son Alex Teves, who recently had gotten a masters' degree in counseling and psychology, was fierce but kind and caring and connected with the special-needs children he worked with.

Teves and her husband, Tom, where vacationing in Hawaii when they got a call in the middle of the night about the shooting. They had planned to retire there, but she says she can't go back now.

The mother of a 27-year-old man who died protecting his girlfriend in the shooting says she vowed to help take care of the woman her son planned to marry.

Jerri Jackson testified Wednesday that her son Matt McQuinn's girlfriend was so devastated that she couldn't go out in public for three months. Samantha Yowler also was wounded in the 2012 attack.

Jackson says she has been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression and takes four kinds of medication to help her sleep and prevent nightmares. She went back to work as a claims analyst at a trucking company but left after two weeks, unable to handle the stress.

The oldest person killed in the theater shooting went to the midnight premiere with two of his daughters after teasing them that he had gotten tickets to the Disney movie "Brave" instead.

Cierra Cowden remembered her father, 51-year-old Gordon Cowden, as a charming and patient man who watched over his children. Once, fully clothed, he jumped into a pool to save one of his daughters who had been pretending to drown as part of a game.

Cierra Cowden, a 19-year-old University of Colorado student, testified Wednesday that her sister felt so bad that he jumped back in and swam around to make her feel better.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Thursday afternoon, and then jurors will deliberate on whether to sentence Holmes to death. To impose the death penalty, they must be unanimous, otherwise the gunman gets life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The judge took the unusual step yesterday of asking jurors to avoid reading or watching any news until the end of the trial.  Holmes’ defense team asked the judge to make the request after another theater shooting was reported in Tennessee. 

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