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

Vincenzo Nibali First Italian In 15 Years To Win Tour De France

The cyclist had dominated the Tour, wearing the yellow jersey through all but two stages of the grueling three-week competition.


Image released by the U.S. State Department showing what it says is evidence of Russia firing artillery into eastern Ukraine.

U.S.: Satellite Images Show Russian Rockets Hitting Ukraine

The State Department says the photos show burn marks from the firing of multiple rocket launchers inside Russia and resulting craters on the other side of the border.


Hank Johnson displays his Glock handgun, inside his home in Springboro, Ohio. D.C. lawmakers had hoped to maintain a ban on carrying handguns in public, but a district court last week overturned it.

Judges Overturns D.C. Ban On Handguns In Public

A district court judge says the law that prohibited people from carrying handguns outside their homes violates the Second Amendment.


Birth Of 100-Millionth Person In Philippines Greeted With Joy, Concern

Chonalyn, a 6-pound girl, was born Sunday morning in a Manila hospital. But the head of the country’s population commission says it will be a challenge to provide for so many people.


The entrance of the compounds of the U.S. embassy is pictured in Tripoli on Saturday. Fighting continues to rage after the U.S. evacuated the diplomatic facility.

Libyan Conflict Rages After U.S. Shuts Embassy

Fighting in the country’s east has killed at least 38 people since the U.S. on Saturday temporarily closed its embassy in the capital, citing security concerns.


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