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James Holmes Update: "Mini-trial" ends in Colorado movie theater shooting

This photo released on Sept. 20, 2012, by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office shows James Holmes. Holmes is being held on charges related to the shooting at an Aurora, Colo., theater on July 20 that killed 12 people and wounded 52. AP Photo/Arapahoe County Sheriff

James Holmes
James Holmes
AP photo

(CBS/AP) CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A hearing laying out the evidence against accused Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes ended Wednesday with the judge saying he will rule by Friday whether Holmes should stand trial.

Pictures: The Colorado massacre suspect

Prosecutors argued Wednesday they showed the 25-year-old Holmes acted with deliberation and extreme indifference. During the hearing, they displayed photos they allege Holmes took of himself on the night of the attack with him sticking out his tongue, smiling and posing with a Glock.

Defense attorneys decided not call any witnesses, saying the rules of the preliminary hearing severely limited what evidence they could present. They were previously granted permission to call two people to talk about Holmes' mental state.

If the judge decides Holmes should be tried, he could enter a plea that same day. His lawyers are expected to present an insanity defense, previously stating that Holmes is mentally ill.

Defense lawyer Tamara Brady pointedly asked a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent in court Tuesday whether any Colorado law prevented "a severely mentally ill person" from buying the 6,295 rounds of ammunition, body armor and handcuffs that Holmes purchased online.

On Wednesday, police also showed pictures of the theater they said Holmes took a month before the attack that killed 12 and injured 58. One photo shows an exit door that looks like the one police said Holmes propped open the night of the shooting so he could re-enter the theater after getting weapons from his car.

Prosecutor Karen Pearson said Holmes picked the perfect venue for his alleged crime.

"He didn't care who he killed or how many he killed, because he wanted to kill all of them," she said.

On Tuesday, the case was dominated by the litany of Holmes' preparations. Prosecutors said he spent months amassing tear gas grenades, two Glock handguns, a shotgun and an AR-15 rifle, along with 6,295 rounds of ammunition, targets, body armor and chemicals, prosecutors said. He also purchased chemicals including improvised napalm, as well as thermite, a substance which burns so hot that water can't extinguish the blaze.

If Holmes is found sane, goes to trial and is convicted, his attorneys can try to stave off a possible death penalty by arguing he is mentally ill. Prosecutors have yet to say whether they will seek the death penalty.

If he's found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would likely be sent to a state mental hospital, not prison. Such a defendant is deemed not guilty because he didn't know right from wrong and is therefore "absolved" of the crime, said former Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey.

Complete coverage of James Holmes on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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