James Holmes’ mental health will soon take focus in Colorado theater shooting …

26 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mental health will take focus in theater shooting trial.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting are steadily moving toward the heart of their case: the testimony of two court-appointed doctors expected to say James Holmes was sane when he opened fire on a packed midnight showing of a Batman movie.

The first month of Holmes’ death penalty trial has been dominated by dramatic and emotional accounts of survivors, technical testimony from investigators, and the recollections of Holmes’ neuroscience professors and classmates, who said he never seemed detached from reality. But the next two weeks of their case will be more focused on Holmes’ mental health when he committed one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, District Attorney George Brauchler said.

It will be the first glimpse into Holmes’ mental state during the shooting, as a far-reaching gag order has kept those details secret since the July 2012 attack. Defense attorneys have cross-examined few prosecution witnesses — and none of the 51 victims who have testified — but that will change when mental health professionals take the stand.

Jurors could also hear from Lynn Fenton, a psychiatrist who treated Holmes at the University of Colorado and expressed concerns about him to campus police after he sent her threatening text messages. Last week, they presented Holmes’ financial and tax documents from around the time of the shooting, arguing his meticulous record-keeping runs counter to defense claims that Holmes couldn’t tell right from wrong.

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