Colo. theater shooting kin reject movie invitation

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm •  Published: January 2, 2013
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The families of some victims have sued Cinemark. The father of the youngest person killed in the shooting, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, is among them. He didn't sign the letter but the girl's grandparents did. The Phillipses have not decided whether they will sue.

Also Wednesday, prosecutors and defense lawyers said they are ready for a crucial hearing next week in which prosecutors will outline their case against James Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 during the midnight showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20.

It starts Monday and is scheduled to run all week. At its conclusion, state District Judge William B. Sylvester will decide if the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial.

The defense could waive the hearing but legal analysts said defense lawyers sometimes go ahead with the hearing to get an idea of how strong the prosecution's case is.

Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and a former federal prosecutor, said preliminary hearings sometimes set the stage for a plea agreement as each side gets to assess the strength of the other.

Holmes is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder and hasn't been asked to enter a plea yet. His lawyers have said he suffers from mental illness.

Next week's hearing will give the public its first officially sanctioned look at much of the evidence against Holmes.

A judge imposed a gag order shortly after Holmes' arrest barring attorneys and investigators from speaking publicly about the case, and many documents have been sealed.

The University of Colorado, where Holmes was enrolled in a Ph. D. neuroscience program, has also been tight-lipped about the case. Investigators said he began stockpiling firearms and ammunition while taking classes in the spring.

In June, he made threats to a professor and on June 10 filed withdrawal papers after failing a year-end exam, prosecutors said. The next day he saw his school psychiatrist who tried to report him to a campus security committee, according to Holmes' lawyers.



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