Pictures taken in the movie theater where the massacre occurred point to premeditation
New details of pre-shooting prepping by killer James Holmes are emerging. Photos have been recovered from Holmes’ cell phone, police reports say.Some were snapped a few hours before the shooting, and cast more light on his odd behavior. Others date back to weeks before the event, raising questions about his ability to plan the crime.
In one of the pictures, he is wearing a black skullcap and sticking out his tongue. It was taken right before he walked in a movie theater and opened fire, in Aurora, Colorado.
Other images show him holding a Glock handgun, and posing with several weapons on his bed. Investigators uncovered the weapons in his home, after the attack. Denver Post describes that they were neatly arranged when the picture was snapped.
This new piece of evidence can prove a "a double-edged sword," criminal defense attorney Dan Recht, of Denver, says. The images either can demonstrate the killer's indifference or can be used as proof in an insanity defense.
"One can be insane and have engaged in very detailed plans. [...] If he was living in a fantasy world, he could make plans — but in an insane fashion," says Recht.
"They go to identity, deliberation and to extreme indifference," Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson argued in court.
The prosecution revealed that some of the pictures were taken in the movie theater before the massacre occurred. Holmes' cellphone held pictures of theater interiors, and close-up shots of back doors and hinges.
Sgt. Matthew Fyles told the court that police were able to date the photos, by accessing cell-tower history and using time-stamp data.
Their investigation revealed that Holmes visited the theater three times before the shooting, once on June 29, and twice in July – on the 5th and the 11th.