Aurora theater shooting preliminary hearing: James Holmes defense did not call witnesses

Judge's decision about trial expected by Friday

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - The preliminary hearing for Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes adjourned on Wednesday without the defense team calling any witnesses.

The judge said he would decide by Friday if Holmes will face a trial.

After prosecutors were wrapped up their case Wednesday morning, defense attorney Daniel King said they had a change of heart and would not call witnesses.

"The issue here is probable cause," King said. "This is neither the venue nor the time for us to put on a show or present a truncated defense."

King's statements followed the presentation of crime scene photos of Holmes' car outside Theater 9, and photos inside his apartment.  Those photos showed many pieces of equipment that ATF Supervisory Special Agent Steven Beggs testified Holmes had purchased.

 

--Holmes' cell phone photos shown in court--

The defense tried to object but was overruled when the prosecution entered photographs downloaded from Holmes' iPhone into evidence.  Aurora Police Sgt. Matthew Fyles testified that photos taken June 29, July 5, and July 11 were of the interior and exterior of the Century 16 Theater.

Other downloaded photos from July 5, July 16, and July 19, showed Holmes trying on many of the pieces of body armor that Beggs testified Holmes purchased.  Another showed the microwave in his Holmes' apartment with chemicals.

Additional photos were close-ups of Holmes' face and head.  One particularly chilling photo entered as Exhibit 82 showed Holmes in a black skull cap with the red-orange curls peaking out underneath.  His tongue was sticking out and he had black contacts in his eyes.  That photo was taken at 6:22 p.m. on July 19.  In that picture you can see the barrel of a handgun, which was identified as the same handgun found in Holmes' car outside the theater, without the laser sight.

Another photo taken July 19 showed a pyrotechnic system set-up in Holmes' apartment.

The final photo presented by the prosecution shows much of the arsenal strewn across a red blanket in Holmes' apartment.  It included ballistic armor, magazines for the rifle and handgun, plus one of the handguns, the rifle and the shotgun.

"We've seen direct evidence of him and his identity from photos on his own phone," said prosecutor Karen Pearson.

"He picked the perfect venue for this crime and exaggerated the risk of death to all these people," Pearson said. "He intended to kill every person in Theater 9 and didn't care that bullets went through the wall into Theater 8."

Holmes is accused of 164 counts of murder and attempted murder in the shooting on July 20, 2012 that left 12 people dead and 70 others injured.

In court Wednesday, the prosecution said they decided not to file more than 1500 additional counts to cover each of the theater-goers, in order to limit the case to just the injured parties.

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