SEARCH

Entries in James Holmes (46)

Monday
Jul302012

Colorado Theater Shooting: James Holmes in Court to Hear Charges

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- James Holmes, the alleged gunman who went on a shooting spree in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20, is expected to make his second court appearance on Monday where he will be formally charged for his alleged crimes.

Holmes, 24, is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others during the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.  He is expected to face 12 counts of murder in the first degree and potentially hundreds of other counts including attempted murder and assault.

This will be the second time Holmes has appeared in court.  His first appearance in court on July 23 raised questions among some observers about his mental competency.  The suspected shooter appeared dazed with his head drooping at times.

The judge will also hear arguments on Monday about a package Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Lynne Fenton.  Holmes' attorneys filed a motion last Friday demanding that the court "immediately produce all discovery pertaining to the seizure of the package."

Holmes' attorneys claim that seizing the package, which is believed to be a notebook written by Holmes, was a breach of confidentiality and they accuse the government of leaking the existence of the package to the media.

"The government's disclosure of this confidential and privileged information has placed Mr. Holmes' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial by an impartial jury in serious jeopardy," his attorneys wrote.

Holmes' attorneys say the package is confidential communication between patient and doctor.

Fenton never received the package, but legal experts say that if Holmes ever made specific threats in their meetings, Fenton had an obligation to report them.

"It's called duty to warn or duty to protect," threat assessment psychologist Marisa Randazzo said.  

When investigators first found the package on July 23 in the mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes recently dropped out as a neuroscience student, they were so concerned that it -- like Holmes' apartment -- would be rigged with explosives, they sent in a robot to handle it.

Inside the notebook they reportedly found plans for a massacre, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down his victims.  Investigators are analyzing it to see if it could be a roadmap to a massacre.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul272012

Colorado Shooting Suspect Was Seeing a Psychiatrist

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes was being treated by a psychiatrist, according to a legal document filed by his attorneys.

The documents reveal that Holmes was under the psychiatric care of Dr. Lynne Fenton and the documents confirm that he mailed a package to his doctors that authorities have since seized.

Holmes, 24, is accused of going on a shooting spree in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20. Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded.

Investigators are analyzing a notebook believed to be written by Holmes that could be a roadmap to a massacre.

Holmes' attorneys filed the motion demanding that the court "immediately produce all discovery pertaining to the seizure of the package."

The attorneys claim that seizing the package was a breach of confidentiality and they accuse the government of leaking the existence of the package to the media.

"The government's disclosure of this confidential and privileged information has placed Mr. Holmes' constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial by an impartial jury in serious jeopardy," his attorneys wrote.

When investigators first found the Holmes package on Monday in the mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes recently dropped out as a neuroscience student, they were so concerned it -- like Holmes' apartment -- would be rigged with explosives that they sent in a robot to handle it.

Inside the notebook they reportedly found plans for a massacre, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down his victims.

Holmes is expected to make his second court appearance on Monday where he will be formally charged for his alleged crimes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul272012

Colorado Massacre Mailing Recalls Virginia Tech, Columbine Pattern

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Investigators are analyzing a notebook believed to be written by James Holmes, the accused gunman in last Friday's Colorado movie theater shooting, which could be a roadmap to a massacre.

If it is, it would not be the first of its kind.  Experts say detailed, meticulously written plans are often a hallmark of mass murderers.

"Universally, mass shooters [are] all about revenge," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI special agent and an ABC News analyst.  "He wanted to pay society back for what he believed society had done to him.  And I think the notebook will talk about that."

Holmes is reported to have walked into an Aurora, Colo., theater showing The Dark Knight Rises around midnight July 20 dressed in riot gear and brandishing at least three weapons.  He allegedly set off two smoke bombs before opening fire on the movie theater patrons with an assault rifle, shotgun and a handgun, killing 12 and wounding dozens of others.

When investigators first found the Holmes package on Monday in the mailroom at the University of Colorado, where Holmes recently dropped out as a neuroscience student, they were so concerned it -- like Holmes' apartment -- would be rigged with explosives that they sent in a robot to handle it.

Inside the notebook, they reportedly found plans for a massacre, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down his victims.

In America's overcrowded history of mass murder, nearly every perpetrator has left behind documentation.

Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007, mailed photos, a letter and video clips of himself reciting a garbled rant at unnamed and perhaps unknowable wrongdoers.

"Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, who inspired generations of the weak and defenseless people," he said in the video.

"You had 100 billion chances and ways to avoid today.  But you decided to spill my blood," he said.  "You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option.  The decision was yours.  Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."

In his letter, Cho even expressed admiration for fellow mass murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine High School killers.

"We martyrs, like Eric and Dylan, will sacrifice our lives to ... you thousand folds for what you apostles of sin have done to us," Cho wrote.

Those Columbine seniors, who on April 20, 1999, killed 13 people in a shooting spree in Colorado, left voluminous diaries, diagrams of the school, and ominous videos before their killings and suicides.

More recently Jared Lee Loughner, accused in a shooting spree on Jan. 8, 2011, at a Tucson, Ariz., community event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, that killed six people and wounded others, including Giffords, posted incomprehensible videos about his community college, calling it "my genocide school."

The video contained such strange narration as this: "If the student is unable to locate the external universe, then the student is unable to locate the internal universe."

The writings and videos of mass killers often seem bizarre and short on rational arguments, but they nevertheless may shed light on the motivations for the crimes.

"These attackers may be trying to be understood," said Marisa Randazzo, an expert on threat assessment and targeted violence.  "Because at the time they carry out the attack they don't feel understood.  This may be part of what is driving this personal desperation -- the feeling that they have no options left."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul262012

Did James Holmes Send Notebook Detailing Shooting Plans to School?

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes may have mailed a notebook to his school detailing his plans to carry out a massacre, sources say.

The notebook that is believed to have been written by Holmes was mailed to the University of Colorado, where Holmes had been a student until dropping out last month, ABC News has learned.

Fox News reported that the notebook was mailed to a specific psychiatrist at the university and that it contained "full details about how he was going to kill people, drawings of what he was going to do in it, and drawings and illustrations of the massacre."

There are conflicting reports on whether the notebook arrived at the university before or after the massacre, but it was found on Monday during a search of the mailroom, ABC News learned on Wednesday.

Holmes is believed to have walked into the Aurora, Colo., theater dressed in riot gear and brandishing at least three weapons last Friday around midnight during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises.  He allegedly set off two smoke bombs before opening fire on the movie theater patrons with an assault rifle, shotgun and a handgun.

Twelve people died and 58 were wounded in the carnage.

The university has not confirmed the existence of the notebook, but issued a statement saying that the "Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus can confirm that the suspicious package discovered at the Facilities Services building on Monday, July 23, 2012, was delivered to the campus by the United States Postal Service that same day."

Discovery of the package prompted the evacuation of the building for about 90 minutes on Wednesday, starting at 12:26 p.m., the school said.

The school also refused to say whether Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist.  Campus officials have insisted they handled the Holmes case correctly.

"To the best of our knowledge, we did everything we should have done," the statement read.

Holmes is scheduled to be arraigned on July 30 in Aurora District Court.

video platform video management video solutions video player

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

James Holmes Bought Rifle After Failing College Exam

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Accused movie theater gunman James Holmes purchased a high-powered rifle hours after failing a key oral exam at the University of Colorado, ABC News has learned.

Holmes added the weapon to his already growing arsenal on June 7, hours after he took a key oral exam at the college.  ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver reported that he failed the exam.  Three days later, he dropped out of the neurosciences program with no explanation.

Holmes, 24, is being held without bond in connection with the shooting, which left 12 people dead and 58 injured on July 20 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Experts say it's possible Holmes had an underlying mental illness that was triggered by the stress of failure.

"All of those things could actually make dormant schizophrenia come out, and come out relatively quickly," said Marisa Randazzo, a psychologist who studies targeted violence.

Using the kinds of guns Holmes allegedly fired requires training and practice, and law enforcement officials are now trying to figure out where and with whom.

For now, Holmes is being held in the Arapahoe County Jail.  Holmes' odd behavior was first seen by the public when he appeared in court Monday looking dazed, alternately bug-eyed and nodding with his eyes closing.

But ABC News has learned that his loopy court appearance was just one of several bizarre behaviors.

In the hours after his arrest Friday for the massacre at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater, Holmes stared at the wall in the Arapahoe Police Headquarters with his eyebrows twitching.

Holmes told police he was the fictitious Batman villain, the Joker, and when cops put evidence bags over his hands to preserve traces of gunpowder residue, he pretended the bags were puppets, law enforcement sources told KMGH-TV.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

Lawsuit Filed Against Colorado Theater, Warner Bros., James Holmes' Docs

Thomas Cooper/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- The first lawsuit stemming from last week's shooting spree at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded was filed Tuesday by a friend of one of those killed.

According to Torrence Brown. Jr., he was left with "extreme trauma" by the incident although he was not physically injured.  Brown's friend, A. J. Boik, died in the shooting-spree, which police blame on 24-year-old former doctoral student James Holmes.

The lawsuit states that doctors treating Holmes for an undisclosed illness were negligent for failing to properly supervise him.

Brown is also suing the Century 16 movie theater where the shooting took place for failing to equip the emergency exits with alarms or manning them with security guards.  Witnesses said that Holmes entered through an exit door he had initially jimmied open before the movie started.

Furthermore, the lawsuit names Warner Bros., producer of The Dark Knight Rises, for excessive violence in the film, which allegedly allowed Holmes to fool people into thinking that he was part of the movie.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

James Holmes' Behavior Sign of Psychosis or Faking It, Expert Says

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused movie theater gunman James Holmes was not on drugs when he appeared dazed in court, but experts are looking for explanations for his odd behavior that included turning evidence bags on his hands into puppets after his arrest, sources told ABC News.

The loopy, seemingly unconcerned actions by the former Ph.D student accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others is seen by some as signs of psychosis -- or that he's faking it.

Sources tell ABC News that Holmes was not on drugs or medication at the time of the hearing, but he has demonstrated a pattern of bizarre behavior since his arrest outside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last Friday.

When Holmes was arrested he told police he was the fictitious Batman villain, The Joker.  When police put evidence bags over his hands to preserve traces of gunpowder residue, Holmes pretended the bags were puppets, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Holmes has acted unfazed by his arrest, police say.  He has been uncooperative since he was taken into custody, giving investigators little information, and yet disclosing his apartment was booby trapped with dozens of explosives.

His behavior in court Monday was particularly strange.  Unshaven, with died orange hair, Holmes alternated between staring wide-eyed to closing his eyes and appearing to nod off.

His lawyer even had to nudge him to rise when the judge entered the courtroom.  He said nothing during the proceedings, in which he was held without bond.

Some observers wondered if Holmes was on drugs or being medicated.  Sources told ABC News, he was not on drugs, leading to expert theories that he may have been in the grips of a "psychotic episode," exhausted from stress or simply faking it.

"I think there are two possibilities going on here," Marissa Randazzo, former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service and an expert in mass shootings, told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.

"One is that he is in the middle of a psychotic episode which is quite possible.  We see him distracted at multiple points, an almost sort of 'coming to' and trying to figure out where he is and process what's going on," she said.  "The other thing that we're seeing -- and we've seen some of this behavior in the past couple months -- might suggest mania.  Meaning hyperactivity, hyper energy, been possibly up and not sleeping for days.  What we might be seeing here is the post effects."

But Randazzo also said there was a third possibility: he might simply be faking it.

"It's possible," she said when asked if Holmes' behavior could be all an act.  "It is possible.  We'll leave that open," she said, adding that most people who lie about that sort of behavior are sociopaths and "what we've heard about his history does not suggest sociopath at all."

"Let's keep that in mind that he was studying neuroscience.  He was studying exactly the type of brain issues that we're going to be talking about throughout this whole case," she said.

Watch More News Videos at ABC
2012 Presidential Election
Entertainment & Celebrity News

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

Colorado Shooting Survivors Grieve for Hero Boyfriends

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- Of the 12 people killed in the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting, four of them were men who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their girlfriends.  Now, each of these women are struggling to come to terms with both their grief and their gratitude.

Alexander Teves, 24, attended the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises with his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren, 24, and another friend.

When suspected gunman James Holmes opened fire in the sold out theater, Teves immediately lunged to block Lindgren from the gunfire.

"I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused," Lindgren told ABC News.  "But, it's like Alex didn't even hesitate.  Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, 'Shh.  Stay down.  It's ok.  Shh just stay down.'  So I did."

Teves blocked the bullets from Lindgren but he was shot and killed.  She was not hit.

"He was my angel that night, but he was my angel every day I knew him," Lindgren said.  "I'm broken."

Lindgren reflected on the profoundly close relationship she had with Teves, saying that the couple would not go an hour in the day "without missing each other terribly."

"My other half was just ripped apart from me and so for me it's still unreal," she said.  "I can't picture my life without him.  How do you?  When someone loves you that much and you love somebody that much…how do you believe that this is real?  And of all places.  We were in that theater, that specific room.  We were just supposed to watch a movie."

When asked if she thought Teves knew he was putting himself in danger for her, Lindgren said, "I know he did.  He'd do anything for me.  He always told me that, too.  I just wish I could have protected him the same way he protected me."

Elsewhere in theater nine, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek, 23, went through a similar situation; they were sitting in the middle of the theater when the shooting began.

"John immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger," Vojtsek wrote in a statement.  "Moments later, John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots.  It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me.  I feel very strongly that I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness."

The couple had known each other since they were 21 and 18 years old when they met working at a Chili's in Illinois, where they are both from.

In addition to these two couples, Matthew McQuinn, 27, and Jon Blunk, 26, died saving their girlfriends in similar ways.  Their girlfriends Samantha Yowler, 26, and Jansen Young, 21, did not respond to requests for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Alleged Colorado Gunman's Family Stands by Son

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The family of suspected gunman James Holmes said they will support the Ph.D student accused of entering a movie theatre last Friday and not leaving until he had killed 12 people and wounded another 58.

Asked if they stand by Holmes, lawyer and family spokeswoman Lisa Damiani said at a press conference Monday, "Yes they do. He's their son."

Damiani said the family was holding up, "as well as anyone could under the circumstances."

"I think everyone can imagine how they're feeling," Damiani said, "anyone who's ever been a parent."

Damiani would not comment on the family's whereabouts or their relationship with Holmes.

The spokeswoman said the family had spoken to investigators from California, but had not been contacted by police in Colorado.

"No one from the Aurora Police Department has contacted us, or asked for assistance," she said. Through Damiani, the suspect's mother Arlene Holmes wanted to clarify a statement she made to ABC News in the immediate aftermath of the shooting Friday morning.

ABC News phoned Arlene Holmes at 5am PST, at her home in San Diego, Calif., according to notes and email records by ABC News producer Matthew Mosk, who placed the call.

Through her lawyer, Holmes Monday sought to clarify the remarks she made in that phone interview.

"I did not know anything about a shooting in Aurora at that time," Arlene Holmes's said in statement read by her lawyer Friday. "He [Mosk] asked if I was Arlene Holmes and if my son was James Holmes, who lives in Aurora, Colorado. I answered yes, you have the right person. I was referring to myself. I asked him to tell me why he was calling and he told me about a shooting in Aurora. He asked for a comment. I told him I could not comment because I did not know if the person he was talking about was my son and I would need to find out."

Mosk said Monday that he awoke Arlene Holmes and informed her that a man, he believed was her son had been arrested in Aurora and asked to confirm their relationship.

"You have to tell me what happened … You have to tell me what happened," the woman on the phone said, according to Mosk. He said he told Holmes that ABC News had learned the 24-year-old had been identified by police as the lone suspect in the mass killing in Aurora, Colo. and that the details of the events were still taking shape.

"You have the right person," was her response, he said. "I need to call the police. I need to fly to Colorado."

Just prior to the press conference, Damiani contacted ABC News to determine whether there existed a recording of the pre-dawn conversation between Mosk and her client, according to Mosk.

One hour after learning there was no audio recording, Damiani held the conference and read Arlene Holmes' statement.

James Holmes, 24, appeared at an Arapahoe County courthouse Monday morning, his first public appearance since last week's massacre. He was not arraigned and did not enter a plea.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Colo. Shooting Suspect James Holmes Makes First Court Appearance

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) -- James Holmes, the gunman accused of opening fire at a Colorado movie theater, appeared dazed in court Monday, seen in public for the first time since he allegedly killed 12 people and wounded another 58 during the showing of the new Batman movie.

Holmes, 24, appeared in court unshaven with a shock of dyed reddish-orange hair, and a prison jumpsuit that appeared to conceal a bulletproof vest.

He said nothing in the courtroom and spent much of the hearing looking down, his head drooping at times. His demeanor ranged from a glassy bug-eye stare to appearing to be nodding off.

Holmes was not arraigned Monday, but was held without bond on a probable cause order for first degree murder. He is expected to return to court next week, where he will be formally charged and enter a plea.

Holmes is being held in solitary confinement and was brought to the courtroom via an underground tunnel.

Five family members, on behalf of three victims, were in the courtroom Monday. Each was assigned a victim-advocate, armed with a box of tissues.

Asked whether Holmes was on medication or drugs at the time of today's hearing, Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters, "We would have no information about that."

Prosecutors are considering pursuing a death penalty case against Holmes. A decision on charging Holmes with capital murder has not yet been made, but Chambers told reporters Monday she is talking with victims and their family members about it.

Prosecutors have 60 days from the time of arraignment to decide if they will seek the death penalty.

There are currently only three people on Colorado's death row, and two of them were put there by Chambers and her team. The last execution took place in 1997.

Nevertheless, experts expect prosecutors to seek the death penalty when Holmes is formally charged later this week.

The prosecutor said it will likely be at least a year before Holmes could go on trial.

Monday was the first time Holmes has been seen in public since his arrest following a deadly rampage at a midnight screening of the The Dark Knight Rises on Friday.  

Watch More News Videos at ABC
2012 Presidential Election
Entertainment & Celebrity News

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio