Theater shooting gunman James Holmes was not faking mental illness, neuropsychologist testifies

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A doctor at the state mental health hospital in Pueblo said test results show the Aurora movie theater shooting gunman was not faking mental illness.

Neuropsychologist Rose Marie Manguso testified Tuesday that she administered 20 different tests on James Holmes on August 12-14, 2013.

Manguso was careful to point out that she did not focus on Holmes' mental state before or during the shooting - just his general background, his more recent status and current status.

The doctor said she met with the gunman for a total of 6 hours and 15 minutes.

"The first question is always 'Is the person faking? Are they feigning or malingering?'" Manguso said.

She conducted a series of "validity tests" designed to determine whether the patient is exaggerating or faking symptoms.

"He performed normally with no evidence of feigning or faking," Manguso stated.

"In your expert opinion, is there any reason this jury or anyone else should be concerned about whether Mr. Holmes was faking?" Public Defender Dan King asked.

"In this context, not at all, no," Manguso answered.

The gunman was taking risperdal during Manguso's testing. It is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Being on anti-psychotics could make a significant impact on the results, Manguso confirmed.

The gunman was afraid his thoughts were being broadcast out loud and everyone could hear them, Manguso testified. He was also concerned he had a mission others wouldn't understand.

Manguso said she did not believe the gunman was exaggerating his symptoms. She stated at least twice that she felt the gunman "was holding back to some degree" and "underreporting some of his issues."

On cross-examination, Manguso answered District Attorney George Brauchler's questions confidently and clearly.

When asked if any of the tests could prove whether the gunman was sane at the time of the shooting, Manguso said curtly, "Of course not."

"You were asked to provide a snapshot in time of the defendant, limited really to just August 12-15 of 2013?" Brauchler asked.

"That is fair to say," she answered.

"You were not asked, nor are you capable, given the tests provided, of going back to July 19-20 - or even before then - of 2012?"

"I cannot do that," Manguso said.

"So you cannot tell us, based on these tests, whether the gunman had the capacity to form the intent to murder after deliberation - or to act knowingly, setting up all the bombs in his apartment - but there are some things here that suggest he had the intellectual capacity to do those things. Is that correct?"

"Yes, his intellect was sufficient for those kinds of activities," Manguso replied.

The gunman's IQ is 123 - considered a "superior intellect" but not a "genius," she added.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora on July 20, 2012. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

TIMELINE of the case:

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