A series of disturbing photos that accused movie theater murderer James Holmes took of himself just hours before he opened fire during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” last July were shown by prosecutors on the final day of a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Prosecutors who displayed the pictures at the three-day hearing said that the photos display “identity, deliberation and extreme indifference," reports the New York Times.
In one photo, his pupils lifeless from black contact lenses, Mr. Holmes sticks his tongue out, dyed orange curls tumbling out of a knit cap. In another, his lips curl into a contorted grin, the muzzle end of a Glock pistol visible next to him. In a third, a large cache of weaponry and body armor is splayed neatly across a red sheet. - The New York Times
James Eagan Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring more than 50 others when he fired into a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. His lawyers, who plan to use an insanity defense, did not call any witnesses.
According to Time magazine, Daniel King, a public defender for Holmes, said the defense had a 'limited ability' to present evidence or find witnesses to testify about Holmes' mental state.
During the three day hearing, the prosecution laid out a chilling portrait of Holmes' planning that went into the attack. They showed photos of the Century 16 theater that they claim Holmes had taken on a reconnaissance mission to pick the venue for the murders, reports the New York Times.
“He picked the perfect venue for this crime,” the prosecutor, Karen Pearson, told the court. “There were never going to be enough ambulances, enough police officers to get everyone out of there fast enough.”
“He didn’t care who he killed and how many he killed, because he wanted to kill all of them. And he knew what he was doing," Pearson said.
According to the Washington Post, Holmes remained impassive and emotionless during much of the testimony. He watched as surveillance video showed him entering the movie theater lobby. Family members who could see Holmes' face from the packed courtroom told the Washington Post that Holmes smiled multiple times during the proceedings.
“He’s not crazy, he’s evil,” said Tom Teves, whose 24-year-old son Alex was killed in the attack. “He’s an animal.”
A judge is due to rule by Friday whether prosecutors presented enough evidence to require Holmes to stand trial on the more than 160 felony counts stemming from the July 20 attack.
Legal experts told the Washington Post that the evidence against Holmes is so strong that the case may never go to trial and end in a plea deal. Without a trial, the three-day hearing would be the only chance that the community, victims and their families will hear details about the case.