Colorado Theater Shooting: Judge Expected to Rule on James Holmes Trial by Friday

James Holmes faces 160 counts of murder and attempted murder in Aurora, Colo., theater shooting

A preliminary hearing to determine whether accused theater shooter James Holmes would be bound over for trial ended Wednesday after the defendant’s defense team decided not to present witnesses to address their client’s mental state.

Judge William Sylvester is expected to rule by Friday whether Holmes — accused of killing 12 and wounding 70 in a shooting spree at a theater in Aurora, Colo., last July 20 — should be bound over for trial.

If the case goes to trial, his lawyers are expected to present an insanity defense. Since his arrest for the deadly attack,  Holmes’ lawyers have stated that their client is mentally ill. Holmes is facing 160 counts of murder and attempted murder.

Lawyers for the defense had received special permission to present two witnesses at the preliminary hearing who would testify to Holmes mental state but in the end decided against that course of action. 

In the pre-trial hearing in Centennial, Colorado that began Monday, prosecutors have sought to portray Holmes as a calculating gunman who spent months painstakingly planning his assault on the theater audience watching a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.

On Tuesday, prosecutors detailed Holmes’ efforts to obtain tear-gas grenades, an AR-15 rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition, protective body armor and chemicals, which he used to construct a booby-trapped explosive device at his apartment.

On Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, the prosecution offered photographs taken by Holmes that show an exit door that police said may be the one the gunman used before the attack to enter the theater after retrieving guns from his vehicle. They also showed interior photographs of the theater allegedly taken by Holmes on his smart phone.

Prosecutors presented pictures of Holmes that he said he took the night of the shootings. They show him sticking out his tongue and posing with a Glock, one of the guns he allegedly used in the attack.

In summing up the case for the state, lead prosecutor Karen Pearson told the court Wednesday that Holmes “picked the perfect venue for this crime."

"He didn’t care who he killed or how many he killed,” she said, “because he wanted to kill all of them, and he knew what he was doing."