ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - Testimony could conclude this week in the Aurora movie theater shooting trial.
Defense attorneys indicated last week that they expect to call their final expert, psychiatrist Raquel Gur, on or around Tuesday. Public Defender Dan King suggested his direct examination of Dr. Gur would take about a day and he guessed the prosecution might need another day for cross-examination.
Dr. Gur is a professor of psychiatry neurology and radiology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. She leads the neuropsychiatry section and the Schizophrenia Research Center and is vice chair of research development in the Department of Psychiatry.
King and his colleagues are trying to convince the jury that James Holmes is not guilty by reason of insanity. He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at a crowded Batman movie premiere.
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The defense has already called several doctors to testify that the gunman was mentally ill in the days and months after the shooting. One of them, Dr. Jonathan Woodcock, also testified that in his opinion the gunman was legally insane at the time of the shooting.
Gur is expected to concur with that opinion.
After the defense rests, the prosecution will have an opportunity to call a rebuttal witness. So far, they've only indicated plans to call only one witness, Dr. Phillip Resnick.
Resnick is the director of forensic psychiatry and a program director of forensic psychiatry at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He is also a professor of psychiatry at the CWRU School of Medicine.
Assuming both sides have finished their presentations of testimony before the end of the week, the court plans to hold closing arguments at 9 a.m. Monday morning. Afterward, the 12 voting jurors will be identified for the first time and sent into deliberations.
If they find the gunman guilty, the court will move into a penalty phase where both sides get to present more testimony. The jurors will then need to decide whether the gunman deserves to be put to death.
However, if they find him not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be indefinitely committed to a mental hospital.