Nearly three weeks into the trial of James Holmes, the gunman who murdered 12 and injured 70 at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. William Reid testified Thursday that Holmes was capable of understanding what he was doing during the attack.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity following the shooting, and after two years at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, Dr. Reid recorded 22 hours of video-taped interviews with the suspect.
“My opinion is whatever he suffered from, it did not prevent him from forming the intent and knowing what he was doing and the consequences of what he was doing,” Dr. Reid said, according to The Denver Post.
Holmes told the doctor that in 2011, he was battling mononucleosis which, along with a 2012 break up with his girlfriend, ultimately contributed to his recurring depression and lethargy. Then gunman also admitted that while he was planning the attack, he was hoping the FBI would stop him as he realized his suicidal thoughts had turned into homicidal urges.
“[That] suggests that [Holmes] knew that he was doing something wrong or was planning something wrong,” Reid stated.
Earlier this week, the jury heard testimonies from Aurora police and FBI agents on the items found in Holmes’s “booby-trapped” apartment, including a batman mask on display in his den and Holmes’ personal journal filled with statements about his “obsession to kill,” detailed blueprints of the targeted movie theater and careful considerations on how to eliminate the most people.
Judge Carlos A. Samour has emphasized to the jury that the testimonies were to be considered in determining Holmes’s level of sanity when he shot down the Batman movie theater.
According to Colorado state law, Holmes will have to prove that he was mentally diseased to the extent that he was incapable of comprehending right from wrong in order to be deemed not guilty by reason of insanity.
The defense has made claims that Holmes suffered from some form of schizophrenia. Dr. Reid however — while acknowledging Holmes does have a history of psychological disorders — is convinced that during the 2012 movie theater shooting, James Holmes was, in fact, sane.
The trial will continue with what is expected to be four days of testimony from James Holmes. Click here for live updates from the Colorado trial.