After months of legal wrangling in private, the public will finally get its first taste of the mammoth case against accused Aurora shooter James Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a Colorado theater in July during a showing of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Holmes, 25, is expected to seek the insanity defense in the case, which has its first big court date beginning on Monday. Both sides indicated they were ready to proceed last Wednesday at a hearing attended by Holmes, whose hair was short and who was wearing a full beard. Next week’s hearing will be used by prosecutors to outline the evidence against Holmes, so it will be the public’s first chance to hear the 911 calls and see the videos and hear testimony from as many as 70 witnesses who were injured.
Holmes has so many charges against him—166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other offenses—that prosecutors will be using charts to keep all the victims and charges straight.
Meanwhile, Cinemark, the corporation that owns the Century 16 theater where the shooting took place, is being attacked by the victims and their families after it sent them letters inviting them to a “a special evening of remembrance” before the theater reopens on Jan. 17. The families of eight victims sent a letter to Cinemark calling the invitation “disgusting.”
“During the holiday we didn’t think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful..,” said the letter.
“We would give anything to wipe the carnage of that night out of our minds’ eye. Thank you for reminding us how your quest for profits has blinded your leadership and made you so callous as to be oblivious to our mental anguish.”