CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- On Wednesday, Colorado continued to hear
overwhelming evidence against Aurora theater shooting suspect James
A preliminary hearing, essentially a dress rehearsal for trial,
included graphic details never before revealed to the public. The
hearing ended on Wednesday. The court said there would be a status
hearing or an arraignment on Friday morning at 9 a.m.
On Wednesday, a detective testified and showed many photos of Holmes'
car outside of the theater, including photos taken on his personal
cellphone. The prosecution said they had "an abundance of direct
evidence" against Holmes, and claimed Holmes "wanted to kill all of
them," and that "he knew what he was doing."
PHOTOS OF THE THEATER TAKEN BEFORE THE SHOOTING
On Holmes' phone, police found four pictures of the inside and the
outside of the theater prior to the shooting. The first photo showed the
double doors of the theater as well as the carpet inside of the movie
theater. It was taken on June 29 at 4:20 p.m. The second photo
highlighted the door jamb of the interior door of the theater. That
photo was taken on June 29 at 4:21 p.m. The third photo showed the
sidewalk and the purple emergency exit doors of the theater, which was
taken on July 5 at 11:30 p.m. The last photo showed an exterior door,
the double purple doors and was taken on July 11 at 12:28 a.m.
The prosecution was going to show a set of eight more photos, but the
defense objected, saying they contradicted their presentation. The
prosecution argued "the following set of photos go to identify
deliberation and extreme indifference." The judge overruled them and
allowed the photos to be observed by the court.
On Wednesday, the defense waived their presentation of any witnesses.
They said they have considered the courts' remarks and have changed
their position. They do not think the preliminary hearing is the time or
the place to present a truncated defense on his "mental state." They
said they have no evidence to present during the preliminary hearing.
MORE: Self-portraits show Holmes grinning, holding weapons
PHOTOS TAKEN BY HOLMES OF HIMSELF BEFORE THE SHOOTING
The first photo showed Holmes donning red hair, a ballistic gear,
tactical equipment, holding an assault rifle and was striking a pose.
The photo was taken on July 5 at 4:12 p.m. - more than two weeks before
The second photo was a photo of the countertop and a microwave with a
mason jar filled with liquid, wires on the outside and a bowl of black
powder in his apartment. Police later identified as smokeless powder. It
was taken on July 16 at 8:26 p.m.
The third photo showed his apartment living room table. On the table,
wires, paint canisters, bottles and nine black spheres with yellow
cording could be seen. The black spheres were later identified by police
as explosive devices. This photo was taken on July 16 at 8:27 p.m.
The next four photos were self portraits of Holmes. In the first one,
he had his tongue sticking out, and he was wearing a black cap on his
head. His red, curly hair was sticking out of the bottom of the hat. His
eyes had black contacts in them. The photo was taken on July 19 at 6:22
p.m. - just hours before the shooting allegedly took place.
The second portrait photo showed him looking the same as the first,
but with a big, cheesy smile on and holding a semi-automatic gun in
front of the lens. That was taken just three minutes after the first
Thirdly, the other self-portrait photo showed Holmes without the hat.
That photo showed him holding one of the explosive devices in front of
his face while he puckered his lips. He took that photo on July 19 at
The last self portrait showed him on the right of the photo and in
the background to the left, the initiation system which was set to
self-detonate in his apartment could be seen. That was taken on July 19
at 6:40 p.m.
The last photo on his cellphone was of his bed - taken on July 19 at
5:17 p.m. On the bed are various items which were recovered in the movie
theater the day of the shooting, such as a a tactical vest, some
magazines for 223 rifle, a Glock magazine, a gas mask, a ballistic
leggings, a ballistic jacket, a ballistic helmet, an assault rifle with
scope, a 870 pump-action shotgun, a tactical satchel and a carry bag.
At that point, the prosecution said they were done presenting evidence.
MORE: Aurora victim: 'I just wanted to look him in the eye'
VICTIMS SAY HOLMES EVIL, NOT CRAZY
Tom Teves, father of Alex Teves, said he is convinced that the
defendant is taking great pleasure in not only his notoriety but his
"I watched him intently [during the hearing], and I watched him smile
every time a weapon was discussed, every time they talked about his
apartment," he said on Wednesday. "We have to accept the fact that there
are evil people in our society who enjoy killing, but that doesn't make
[the defendant] crazy."
"This is a man who doesn't like people, he doesn't think of them as human beings," he added.
His wife, Caren Teves, said she too saw the defendant smirk on a number of occasions.
"I could see his face. I could see his eyes. I could see his expression.
He was delighted to see himself on the screen," she said.
Yousef Gharbi still has a bullet in his head. The 17-year old said he
left Wednesday's hearing still unable to fathom why this happened in the
"That's the question that sits on my chest, at the very top. Why did he do it?" he said.
Yet Gharbi remains convinced this was a heavily planned out attack.
"He constructed a plan to take lives. That's what he wanted to do. This
was a thought out plan. He knew it was going to be big," Gharbi said.
MORE: 911 calls paint disturbing scene of theater shooting
PRELIMINARY HEARING DAY 2
During Tuesday's preliminary hearing, two 911 calls were played for
the courtroom and detectives detailed what they discovered in Holmes'
READ DAY 2 OF TESTIMONY HERE
Witnesses also detailed the scope of the investigation and Holmes' arrest.
PRELIMINARY HEARING DAY 1
Monday marked the first day of the preliminary hearing. A couple of
the officers who took the stand on Monday got quite emotional, often
holding back tears as they described a chaotic scene with bloody victims
and a parking lot so packed that ambulances could not get access.
Appel clarified Holmes purchased his ticket to the showing on July 7,
not July 8 as was previously mentioned in Monday's testimony.
READ DAY 1 OF TESTIMONY HERE
Holmes sat motionless and silent during all the testimony.
THE PRELIMINARY HEARING
Many of the details revealed this week were brand new because of the gag order in the theater shooting case.
Without question there is enormous public interest in this case. News outlets from around the country are in Colorado.
Victims' families have flown in from across the country to see the
preliminary hearing. Many have never stepped foot in the courthouse or
been in the same room with the suspect.
"We're all going to get through this process. It's very
traumatizing," said Jessica Watts, who lost her cousin Jonathan Blunk on
Blunk is one of the 12 people who died, while 58 others were injured.
"It's almost like an extended family. We'll definitely be sitting together in court," Watts said.