After three days of testimony in the case stemming from the Aurora Theater shooting that took place on July 20th, 2012 at the Century 16 Theater there, Judge William Sylvester, in an Arapahoe County District Courtroom, ruled that probable cause had been established that James Holmes had committed the crimes alleged against him.
Holmes has been ordered to face trial, but the lawyers, in his defense, asked for and received more time to go over the huge amount of evidence and testimony that was presented during the hearing before Holmes is arraigned on the charges. Arraignment is now set for March 12th, 2013.
Holmes is charged with murder and attempted murder for the twelve people he gunned down, and the 58 others he wounded during the screening of “The Dark Kight Rises,” that was playing in theater 9 of the theater complex that night.
It is alleged that Holmes entered the theater and took a front row seat, then left the theater through an emergency exit 20 minutes into the film, propping the door open. He then went to his vehicle, which was parked near the emergency exit, donned protective gear, a gas mask and weapons then re-entered the theater about ten minutes later. It was then that he tossed a tear gas canister into the theater and opened fire on the audience as they scrambled to exit the theater. Holmes continued to fire until his firearm jammed. After his gun jammed, he gave up to police outside in the parking lot without a fight.
Holmes also booby-trapped his apartment with explosives. Those explosives were successfully defused however. It was surmised by police that the charges in the apartment were to draw enforcement away from the theater as he carried out his bloody attack.
The prosecutors have presented compelling evidence that Holmes was able to tell right from wrong. It was also very apparent that Holmes knew he was going to carry out the attack long before he did so. He had begun collecting weapons months in advance. He had bought the tickets 12 days in advance of the screening and also posted on his dating profile on Match.com long before the bloody event asking “Will you visit me in prison?”
The defense is likely to go with an insanity defense in the case.
The prosecutors will have 60 days to determine if they want to pursue the death penalty after Holmes makes his plea in March.