The Latest: Colorado shooter's father noticed changes in son

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Posted: Jul 28, 2015 7:23 PM
The Latest: Colorado shooter's father noticed changes in son

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

5:15 p.m.

The father of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes says he noticed his son had an odd facial expression about seven months before the attack, and he was reminded of it later when he saw his son's mug shot.

Robert Holmes testified Tuesday that in December 2011, he noticed his son smiling, grimacing and smirking, and having a hard time making eye contact. Immediately after the testimony, the defense showed the mug shot of James Holmes smirking.

Robert Holmes says he has seen James Holmes in jail only three times because his son typically does not allow visitors. During his first visit, Robert Holmes said his son "was clearly really messed up" with his eyes bulging and his pupils dilated.

Testimony has ended for the day. Robert Holmes is expected to take the stand again Wednesday.

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3:55 p.m.

The father of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes isn't showing much emotion as he testifies in an effort to spare his son from execution.

Robert Holmes has been answering questions briefly Tuesday and occasionally looking over at his son. Neither father nor son has smiled at each other.

Arlene Holmes, seated two rows behind her son, hasn't visibly reacted to photographs and videos showing her family's holiday gatherings, soccer games and trip to Disneyland.

Some of the images have elicited chuckles from the courtroom but not from the victims' portion of the gallery. Unlike previous days, it is largely empty.

A jury is considering whether James Holmes should serve life in prison without parole or be executed for the July 20, 2012, attack that left 12 people dead and 70 injured.

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2:48 p.m.

Lawyers for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes are showing images of him as a baby and a young boy as his father testifies in an effort to save his life.

Robert Holmes said Tuesday that he still loves and supports his son, who was an "excellent kid." He has attended every day of his son's trial along with his wife, Arlene, but this is the first time he is testifying.

The father says he didn't know his son was mentally ill before the July 20, 2012, attack that left 12 people dead and 70 injured.

He also said he didn't know much about his family's history of mental illness until investigators researched it for the trial. He acknowledged that his parents didn't talk about their emotions.

A jury is considering whether James Holmes should serve life in prison without parole or be executed.

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2 p.m.

The father of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes is testifying as the defense tries to persuade jurors to spare his life.

Robert Holmes has attended every day of his son's trial along with his wife, Arlene, but this is the first time he has testified. The couple has not spoken publicly during the trial.

Their 22-year-old daughter, Chris Holmes, was the first in the family to take the stand Monday.

She said when she visited James Holmes in jail nearly two years after the attack, she no longer saw the loving brother who protected her when they were growing up. She said his whole demeanor had changed.

The jury is considering whether James Holmes should serve life in prison without parole or be executed for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at a crowded movie premiere in 2012.