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This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo., on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Robles, Pool) This courtroom sketch shows James Holmes being escorted by a deputy as he arrives at preliminary hearing in district court in Centennial, Colo., on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Robles, Pool)  

James Holmes hearing ends without testimony from defense

Greg Campbell
Contributor

The preliminary hearing for suspected Aurora theater shooter James Holmes ended Wednesday, with the defense declining to call witnesses or present evidence, saying the hearing wasn’t the proper venue “to put on a show.”

Holmes attorneys were expected to present witnesses to testify about his mental state, but attorney Daniel King said they’d had “a change of heart,” according to the Denver Post.

Court is in recess until Friday at 9 a.m., at which time Judge William Sylvester will rule on whether there is enough evidence against Holmes to move forward with a trial. If so, Holmes will be arraigned at that time.

Earlier in the day, the prosecution showed that Holmes had photographed the theater prior to the shooting, including the interior and details of the exterior emergency exit door. They also showed self-portraits Holmes had taken of himself posing with his weapons. In one picture, he is wearing black contact lenses.

During closing arguments, the prosecution said that Holmes would have continued firing had the AR-15 not jammed. Several loaded magazines for the rifle were found inside the theater, according to earlier testimony.

“He picked a venue where there would be people packed in who would have difficulty escaping,” said a prosecutor quoted in the Denver Post.

The hearing began Monday with emotional testimony from officers who responded to reports of an active shooter at Century 16 in the early morning hours of July 20.

On Tuesday, they presented evidence of the elaborate booby-traps meant to set his apartment on fire in the hope of luring police and emergency crews away from the theater. They also played tapes of 911 calls made that night, including one in which 30 gunshots could be heard during the 27 second call.

Twelve people were killed in the shooting and 70 injured. Holmes faces multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

If the case is moved forward to trial, prosecutors have 60 days to determine if they will seek the death penalty.

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