The Latest: Theater shooting testimony to continue Friday

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 23, 2015 7:40 PM
The Latest: Theater shooting testimony to continue Friday

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Testimony in the sentencing phase of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes' trial has wrapped up for the day.

Holmes' lawyers will continue to make their case Friday for a sentence of life in prison instead of the death penalty. On Thursday, they called several of Holmes' teachers and friends to the stand, and some described him as a withdrawn but polite teenager.

Holmes was convicted last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

Earlier Thursday, the jury found that the crimes were so heinous that the death penalty would be a just sentence. But jurors must first hear the defense's arguments for a life term before deciding whether he'll be sentenced to death.

___

4:05 p.m.

The Colorado theater shooter's high school cross-country coach says she was concerned James Holmes might have had a learning disability because he would not interact with her.

Lori Godwin testified Thursday during the sentencing phase of Holmes' trial that other students told her not to worry about him because he was smart.

Godwin says Holmes always kept his head down and rarely interacted with fellow runners. She described him as "kind of a shadow figure."

She remembered being stern with him because he didn't want to join the team for a group photo and said "he was part of us, but not part of us."

Holmes' attorneys want jurors to sentence him to life in prison rather than the death penalty for the 2012 attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

___

3:30 p.m.

One of James Holmes' teachers at Westview High School in San Diego says he remembers the Colorado theater shooter as quiet and withdrawn.

Thomas Oliver told jurors Thursday in the penalty phase of Holmes' trial that the boy he knew as "Jimmy" was "kind of hard to get to know." Oliver says Holmes "was pretty invisible."

Asked by defense attorney Tamara Brady if Holmes seemed like a happy teenager, Oliver said not to his recollection.

Earlier Thursday, the jury found that Holmes' 2012 attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 others was so heinous that the death penalty would be a just sentence. But they must first hear the defense's arguments for a life term before deciding whether he'll be sentenced to death.

___

2:45 p.m.

A woman who worked at the Colorado theater shooter's elementary school in Monterey County, California, says James Holmes was a smart and well-liked child known as Jimmy.

"He was a normal kid. He was very popular, very bright," Suzanne Diaz told jurors Thursday during the sentencing phase of Holmes' trial. "Kids always liked to play with him. He was very good in sports."

Holmes' attorneys are trying to persuade jurors to sentence him to life in prison rather than execution for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at a packed movie premiere in 2012.

Defense lawyers showed the jury photos of Holmes in elementary school, starting with the second grade.

___

2:25 p.m.

Lawyers for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes have begun making their case for a sentence of life in prison instead of the death penalty.

Defense attorney Rebekka Higgs told jurors that the 2012 attack that killed 12 people and injured 70 others wouldn't have happened except for his mental illness.

"We are not going to ask you to forgive Mr. Holmes. We are going to ask for your compassion, your understanding, your mercy," she said.

Earlier Thursday, the jury found the attack was so heinous that the death penalty would be a just sentence, but they must first hear the defense's arguments for a life term before deciding.

___

1:30 p.m.

Colorado theater shooter James Holmes is standing calmly, hands in his pockets, as a judge reads the jury's decision that he is eligible for the death penalty.

Holmes, slightly bearded and wearing a white shirt and khakis, stood beside his attorneys and looked directly at Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. as the judge read the findings Thursday.

Now, his attorneys will argue that life in prison without parole, rather than death, is the appropriate sentence.

The jury convicted Holmes last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for his July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

___

1:10 p.m.

Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have refused to rule out the death penalty for James Holmes in the first phase of sentencing.

The jury said Thursday that they agree with prosecutors that Holmes' crimes were heinous enough to warrant execution.

Now, Holmes' attorneys will argue that life in prison without parole is an appropriate sentence despite those crimes.

Jurors convicted Holmes last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

Holmes' lawyers are expected to focus on his severe mental illness and could call his parents, a college roommate and former neighbors to testify.

___

12:53 p.m.

Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting have decided if the death penalty can be considered for James Holmes.

Their decision was expected to be announced early Thursday afternoon. They began deliberating Wednesday.

If jurors conclude the crime was cruel enough that execution is warranted, the defense will try to convince them that there are other reasons Holmes should be sentenced to life in prison, including that he is mentally ill.

If they decide against the death penalty, Holmes would automatically be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Jurors convicted Holmes last week of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack on a suburban Denver theater. They rejected the defense argument that he couldn't tell right from wrong because of his mental illness.