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

A close carbon-fired power plant outside Helper, Utah.

President Obama To Unveil Tough Proposal Targeting Greenhouse Gases

In the final proposal, Obama will unveil measures that are tougher than those in the 2014 draft proposal. The rules seek to curb carbon emissions from power plants by 32 percent by 2030.


Jericho the lion, right, seen here fighting with Cecil last year, was the subject of competing stories Saturday, as groups in Zimbabwe disagreed over whether he had been killed.

Jericho Isn’t Cecil’s Brother And Is Probably Still Alive, Lion Researcher Says

Citing “huge disgust and sadness,” a conservation group said the lion nicknamed Jericho had been killed Saturday. But a researcher in Zimbabwe says he doesn’t believe it.


Wildfires In California Spur Emergency Declaration; 1 Firefighter Dead

Nine of the largest fires cover areas of at least 1,000 acres each; a firefighter from Rapid City, S.D., was killed while battling one large blaze in Northern California.


Kira Grunberg, seen here competing last summer, was severely injured in a training accident this week. Doctors say she is now a paraplegic.

After Devastating Injury, Austrian Pole Vaulter Is Breathing On Her Own

Doctors say the fall has left Kira Grunberg, 21, a paraplegic — a development that shocked the sports world in Europe and brought offers of emotional and financial support.


Concerns about pollution in the waters around Rio have prompted the world sailing federation to take action ahead of next year's Olympic Games. Here, garbage is seen Bica Beach, on the banks of the Guanabara Bay, with the Sugar Loaf mountain in background, earlier this year.

Sailing Federation Will Test Waters For Viruses In Brazil’s Olympics Venues

The International Sailing Federation says the move is prompted by concerns over athletes’ health and safety, after reports of raw sewage and trash in the water around Rio.


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
Underwriting Payments