'Rational insanity' found in James Holmes' computer's search history, detective testifies

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The term "rational insanity" was found in the search history of James Holmes' computer, a digital forensic detective testified on Thursday.

Detective Michael Leiker, a criminologist for Aurora police who examines digital evidence, testified that on Holmes' computer tower he discovered a Firefox browsing history and a Bing.com search for the term "rational insanity."

He also found web searches that were related to weapons, firearms, ammunition and movie theaters, he said. He said that if he had to print out all the forensic data that he's analyzed, there would be many thousands of pages of data.

Besides Holmes' computer, Leiker has also examined Holmes' iPhone, iPod touch, a tablet, another computer tower, three flash drives and a Toshiba laptop. On that laptop, Leiker said there were two images -- one showing a person in a gas mask, and one showing a British flag with a silhouette figure.

On the iPhone, which Leiker said he examined on July 21, 2012, he found video, images, Internet history, photo messages and chat content. The nature of those images and video was not disclosed during Thursday's hearing, but prosecutors did show 12 images to Leiker, asking if that was what he had extracted from the phone.

Leiker is one of two detectives testifying Thursday about evidence obtained from the movie theater shooting defendant's phone and computer.

The prosecution is seeking permission to use the testimony about the digital evidence at trial. The defense sought to block that testimony.

Leiker was called to the stand first on Thursday, answering questions about his qualifications and the methods used to obtain the evidence from the defendant's digital devices.

The prosecution also argued for permission to admit even pieces of evidence, including "a video tape and six still photographs," at trial.

The video and photos are considered "res gestae" evidence -- a Latin term for evidence relating to the surrounding circumstances of a crime.

At least one of the photographs was taken at the intersection of Abilene and Mississippi on July 10. The prosecution argued it could be used to support their case about Holmes' ownership of the Hyundai found outside the theater and his mental state.

"Mentally ill people can operate motor vehicles, people who meet the legal definition of insanity can operate motor vehicles. I don't believe that a driver's test was one of the tests administered at the state mental hospital," defense attorney Kristen Nelson argued.

The prosecution also indicated Holmes had spent $600 at a nearby Best Buy on the same night. One of the items he allegedly purchased was the iPod Touch he carried at the time of the shooting.

Referencing a document that hasn't been made public, the prosecution was asked why they wanted to use this photo instead of another. They replied it was because the July 10 photo was taken 10 days before the shooting.

Holmes was at the hearing on Thursday, as was his mother. When he walked into court, his mother nodded her head, and he smiled at her, and then she blinked really rapidly in an attempt to stop crying, 7NEWS Reporter Marshall Zelinger said.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 when he opened fire in a packed movie theater in Aurora on July 20, 2012.

He is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder, and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Thursday's hearing is the second in a series of nine scheduled motions hearings this month. Future hearings will cover defense motions to suppress evidence from Holmes' cell phone, iPod, iPhone and email accounts.

The trial is scheduled to begin in February. Potential jurors will be warned that it could last up to 8 months.

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