Centennial Colo. -- More than 100 victim’s family members and victim survivors packed tightly into a courtroom to hear the details and try to make sense out of the senseless Colorado theater shooting -- which left 12 dead and dozens wounded.
Courtroom sketches showed an untidy, sloppily unshaven James Holmes staring into the surrounding space as if nothing existed around him. An emotionless blank stare, which some who personally witnessed it could only describe it as the look of a heartless, detached and inhumane person.
For those in attendance, the hearing was a recap with new details of the horrible night -- as police officers on the scene described their experiences.
Officer Jason Obiatt, originally thought that Holmes standing outside the back of the movie theater was part of the law enforcement team at the scene since he wore tactical gear -- but after further speculation, officer Obiatt noticed that Holmes did not seem normal and very relaxed, such as the behavior he has displayed in court.
He seemed “very, very relaxed and didn’t seem to have normal emotional reactions, he seemed very detached from it all,” said Obiatt.
Although necessary for the court to hear testimony regarding the night of the shooting, victim’s family members and survivors are looking for answers as to why Holmes committed the nightmarish act. Defense lawyers have not been able to offer much on Holmes’ motive – but seem to be leaning towards blaming his actions on mental illness and insanity.
A pathologist at the hearing, who detailed the 12 fatalities, was asked by Daniel King, one of Holmes’ lawyers; “You’re aware that people can be found not guilty on the grounds of insanity?” further insinuating that insanity would be the defense strategy.
Throughout the hearing, Holmes maintained his signature dazed and emotionless look which has both angered and confused those who have been affected by the tragedy; “There’s no way to understand this because there’s no understanding it, but we want to know at least what happened,” stated Tom Teves, father of 24-year-old Alex who was killed that night.
Prosecutors allege that Holmes went on the shooting spree after flunking out of a graduate neuroscience program -- an allegation which can seal Holmes fate and bury the insanity theory, because they will argue that; how could someone who was studying in a neuroscience graduate program suddenly be labeled insane? They will also argue that Holmes premeditated his actions by preparing himself in tactical gear and booby-trapping his apartment.
Since no plea has been entered, the outcome of the following hearings is unknown, and whether there will be a trial or not -- prosecutors may prompt for a guilty plea of all counts, with either life without parole, or the death penalty.