First Hearing in Colorado Theater Shooting Too Painful for Some
After more than five months of legal maneuvering, a preliminary hearing is set to begin Monday in the case against the suspect in the Aurora movie theater massacre to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to go to trial on 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.
Hundreds are expected to testify in the weeklong hearing, including scores of victims who will recount the terrifying moments just after 12:30 a.m. on July 20 when authorities say James E. Holmes, a brilliant former neuroscience student, opened fire in a packed midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Twelve people were killed in the rampage and at least 70 were wounded. Holmes, held without bond and in isolation at the Arapahoe County Jail, has not entered a plea. He has sat shackled and silent in the courtroom during pretrial hearings.
Court and law enforcement officials have braced for the crush of worldwide interest in the case. Two overflow rooms have been set up with live video feed, including one for the 100 or so victims and family members who have said they will attend.
Reporters will jockey for elbow room, and a contingent of Holmes’ supporters, who call themselves Holmsies, will no doubt vie for seats. Armed deputies will be stationed on the rooftops in the judicial compound, as they have been at every Holmes court appearance.