Nation & World News

A Year After Aurora Shooting, Alleged Shooter’s Case Drags On

By Scott Neuman on July 21st, 2013

One year ago, a hail of gunfire interrupted a midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., sending theatergoers scrambling for cover. Twelve people were killed and 70 others wounded in the mass shooting.

The city of Aurora on Saturday was holding a day of remembrance to honor the victims, beginning with a community gathering on the lawn outside the city’s municipal center. Also planned was a short ceremony of songs and prayers and remarks by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan and Colorado Gov. John Hicklenlooper.

Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee, who has been covering the case against alleged shooter James Holmes, tells NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, the complicated legal proceedings are moving along very slowly.

“It’s a case where you have the prosecution pursuing a death penalty and you have the defense entering an insanity plea – both of those are just very slow processes,” Verlee says.

She says that as the lawyers make their arguments, Holmes, now 25, is being examined at the state hospital in Pueblo, where he is undergoing a mental evaluation.

“The doctors there say it is going to take a number of months to reconstruct his mental state last July around the attack,” she says. “That’s a very painstaking process, so that’s slowing down the case as well.”

In recent hearings, prosecutors “displayed photos of Holmes that he took of himself before the attack, dressed in tactical gear, with his hair in that very shocking bright orange color that you saw in the early photos,” she says. “Those were meant to speak to his culpability, his awareness of what he was about to do. We also got some pretty horrifying descriptions of the damage he allegedly did that night.”

Verlee says, “the defense actually admitted for the first time that Holmes was the shooter on July 20 but … said he was in the grips of a psychotic episode that night. So, we get these hints of where they are going to take their case.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

The Supreme Court declined to extend a stay on a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida’s 2008 ban is unconstitutional. The stay expires in January.


CEO Says Sony Pictures ‘Did Not Capitulate,’ Is Exploring Options

Melissa Block talks to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton about the cyber attack against his company and the cancellation of the Christmas Day release of The Interview.


Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.

Obama Says ‘James Flacco.’ The Internet Says, Thank You

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama said “James Flacco” when referring to James Franco — on a Friday before the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received online.


Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont., in September. New EPA guidelines treat toxic coal ash from such plants much the same as common household garbage.

New EPA Standards Label Toxic Coal Ash Non-Hazardous

Environmental groups had sought to have coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, regulated as hazardous waste.


"I didn't want to fire things up," St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch says of his silence since announcing the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

Weeks after he announced a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in Michael Brown’s death, prosecutor Robert McCulloch explains some of his own decisions in the case.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments