Tom Teves, whose son Alex was among the dead, said he would rather see Holmes plead guilty to first-degree murder, avoiding a traumatic trial, bringing a life sentence and closing the door to an insanity defense.
If found not guilty by reason of insanity, Holmes could conceivably be released someday if he is deemed to have recovered.
"Don't pretend he's crazy," Teves said Wednesday. "He's not crazy. He's no more crazy than you and I."
Prosecutors developed twin themes at the hearing: the horror and devastation of the attack, and a weekslong process in which they alleged Holmes planned and prepared for the assault.
Two officers were overcome by emotion when they testified about the chaos in the theater and the race to get victims to hospitals by police cars until ambulances could arrive. Other testimony included the names and injuries of the victims, read out one by one.
Prosecution witnesses also testified that Holmes started assembling an arsenal in early May and by July 6 had two semi-automatic pistols, a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, 6,200 rounds of ammunition and high-capacity magazines that allow a shooter to fire more rounds without stopping to reload.
In late June he began equipping himself with a helmet, gas mask and body armor, the witnesses said.
In early July, they testified, he began buying fuses, gunpowder, chemicals and electronics to booby-trap his apartment in hopes of triggering an explosion and fire to divert police from the theater. The bombs never went off.
Also in early July, he took some interior and exterior photos of the theater, witnesses said.
"He picked the perfect venue for this crime," prosecutor Karen Pearson said.
On Wednesday, Pearson showed a series of photos that investigators said Holmes took of himself hours before the massacre. In one, he glares through black contact lenses, sticking out his tongue, as two locks of his orange-dyed hair curl out on either side of his head like horns.
Caren Teves, mother of Alex and wife of Tom Teves, said she saw Holmes smile when his self-portraits were shown in court.
"He just sat in the courtroom pretty much delighted. He was smiling. He was smirking," she said.
Associated Press writers Catherine Tsai, Thomas Peipert and Colleen Slevin contributed to this report.