As the evidence mounted against alleged Aurora, Colo. theater murderer James Holmes Tuesday most observers believe the man who is accused of shooting to death 12 people will probably try to avoid the death penalty by negotiating a plea bargain which will include a recommendation of a life sentence.
Whether or not that offer will be made by the prosecution depends on the newly-elected district attorney who was sworn into office this week.
In the alternative, Holmes only other option appears to lie in mounting an insanity defense for which his attorneys were laying the groundwork Monday and Tuesday of this week's pre-trial hearing.
In addition to the twelve deaths which occurred at the opening of the Batman movie "Dark Knight Rises", 58 other theater goers were wounded by the bizarre ambush which occurred on July 20, 2012.
A prosecution witness Tuesday told the judge how Holmes allegedly booby-trapped his own apartment to explode to cause a distraction while he slaughtered the unsuspecting viewers of the Batman movie.
Bomb technician Garrett Gumbinner explained today (Tuesday) how Holmes constructed a deadly trap for responding law enforcement officers. A trip wire led from the door of his apartment to a thermos filled with glycerine perched over a frying pan filled with potassium permanganate.
When he was arrested at the Century 16 multiplex theater following the slaughter, Holmes allegedly told police about how he'd constructed a booby trap in his apartment to distract police officers when it exploded. He evidently believed if he could lure Aurora police officers to his exploding apartment, he would be free to shoot people at the theater without law enforcement interference.
On Wednesday, the prosecution is expected to call its last witness for purposes of this week's pre-trial hearing.
The defense will then be allowed to present witnesses after the state rests.
Then Arapahoe County prosecutor Carol Chambers had said last summer the state was considering seeking the death penalty for the 24-year old college student.
However, George Brauchler defeated a longtime assistant of Chambers during the November election and will be the decisionmaker now on all plea bargain and trial issues.
Normally, a district attorney will confer with the victims of a case before making a major decision such as whether or not to seek the death penalty.
ABC News has described the alleged spree murderer as a "gifted scientist who had received a federal grant to work on his Ph.D at the University of Colorado neuroscience program."
Holmes allegedly walked into a midnight screening of the Batman movie and opened fire on the shocked audience.
The mass shooting in Aurora caused a new surge of gun-control sentiment across the United States. The tragic shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut has further fanned the flames of that sentiment. Whether or not the gun control issue will intrude into this trial remains to be seen.
Whether or not the Newtown tragedy will affect the final result of the trial of in Colorado remains to be seen.
It will be interesting to see what newly-elected DA Brauchler decides to do in regard to seeking the death penalty on this horrific case. He certainly picked a giant case with which to begin his administration.
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