CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Attorneys will present their closing arguments in the Aurora theater shooting trial on Tuesday. On Monday attorneys worked out the final details for jury instructions.
James Holmes was in the courtroom on Monday, but his jury wasn’t. But what they worked on could be crucial to whether he is found guilty or not. His attorneys wanted the instructions given to the jury their way.
“The defendant asserts that he suffers from a chronic and serious mental illness with psychotic features which falls within the schizophrenia spectrum of disorders,” defense Attorney Kristen Nelson said.
The judge will instruct the jurors why the defense feels Holmes should be found insane.
“He experienced his first psychotic break and began to suffer from a psychotic delusion that he could increase his self-worth by gaining human capital in killing people,” Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said.
After instructions the jurors will hear each side’s closing arguments. The prosecutors must prove Holmes was sane.
“The prosecution, because they have the burden of proof, are going to have to really focus not as much on the emotional aspects of this case,” CBS4 Legal Analyst Karen Steinhauser said.
But the emotion can’t be ignored. The final prosecution witness was Ashley Moser who was paralyzed and lost her daughter Veronica and a pregnancy. CBS4’s Rick Sallinger spoke with her aunt MaryEllen Hansen.
“She is interested in the death sentence for him and wanted to have a big impact on the jury,” Hansen said.
She calls Holmes pathetic and evil, but what the jury must decide is if he was insane.