Twenty-four counts of first-degree murder sentenced to ‘Batman’ fan over the 2012 massacre.
James Eagan Holmes, 27-year-old, an American found guilty of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for carrying out the 2012 Aurora shooting.
Holmes admitted, fan of superheroes including Batman and his apartment was decorated with Batman paraphernalia.
The shooting killed 12 people and injured 70 others at a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012.
On March 2013, Holmes held without bail and entered a plea of not guilty, no known previous criminal record.
His attorneys had been expected to enter a plea of diminished capacity, differs from an insanity plea.
Holmes’ defense lawyer Dan King insisted Holmes was insane, saying: “The fact of the matter is that when Mr Holmes stepped into that theater … he had lost touch with reality. You cannot divorce the mental illness from this case, or from Mr Holmes. The mental illness caused this to happen. Only the mental illness caused this to happen, and nothing else.
Defense lawyer claimed Holmes a psychiatric patient of the medical director of Anschutz’s Student Mental Health Services prior to the Aurora shooting, however, prosecutor disagreed with that claim.
In a statement of Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, Holmes chose the Century 16 theater for his attack because he liked movie theaters and the specific theater had doors that he could lock in order to increase the number of casualties, as well as being in an area where police response would take longer. He specifically chose to attack a midnight screening because he believed fewer children would be present, not wanting to kill them.
Police arrested Holmes on July 20, 2012 without resistance next to his car behind the Century 16 theater, moments after the shooting.
Holmes allegedly set off several gas or smoke canisters and then opened fire on the theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 70.
On July 23, 2012, Holmes made his first court appearance in Centennial, Colorado before Judge William B. Sylvester.
Colorado prosecutors filed formal charges against Holmes, including 24 counts of first degree murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, possession of explosive devices, and inciting violence.
Multiple charges expand the opportunities for prosecutors to obtain convictions. For each person killed in the shooting, Holmes is charged with one count of murder with deliberation and one count of murder with extreme indifference.
Holmes agreed in court to waive his right to a preliminary hearing, however, will be put in state mental hospital if found guilty with reason of insanity.