Judge says Colorado theater shooting trial could start early

AP News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2015 3:55 PM

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Jury selection is moving more quickly than expected in the Colorado theater shooting case and that could allow the trial to begin as early as May instead of June.

Individual questioning of potential jurors had been scheduled to last 16 weeks but Judge Carlos Samour said Wednesday that it could wrap up in six weeks instead, The Aurora Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17hlkIZ ) reported.

Twelve jurors and 12 alternates would then be picked after a round of group questioning.

James Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the July 20, 2012, attack at a Denver-area theater that killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. His lawyers acknowledge he was the gunman but say he was in the grip of a psychotic episode.

On Thursday, Holmes, wearing a short-sleeve, button-down blue shirt, wrote in a notebook as potential jurors were questioned.

Samour asked one man whether a trial starting in late April or early May would pose a hardship. He replied that it would not.

Samour dismissed two of four prospective jurors questioned in the morning session. One woman who was dismissed said she was a nurse who had worked alongside paramedics and other nurses who had treated theater shooting victims. She said she had also discussed Holmes' mental state with her ex-husband, who works in the mental health field. She said she couldn't set aside her feeling that Holmes is guilty.

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Information from: The Aurora Sentinel, http://www.aurorasentinel.com/