Aurora theater shooting trial Day 34: Video showed Holmes tampering with shackles



AURORA | Prosecutors showed jurors in the Aurora theater shooting trial a video that shows James Holmes appearing to tamper with his shackles in September 2012 in a holding cell.

Holmes’ lawyers objected to the video before the start of the trial but Judge Carlos Samour Jr. overruled their objection.

The video shows Holmes, his hands and feet shackled, pacing around a small holding cell at the courthouse before a court hearing. He peers out the window on the door several times before turning his back to the window, out of view from jailers, and appears to tamper with his shackles.

Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Triska, a jailer who testified about the video, said when he opened the door to the cell, Holmes “had a smirk on his face.”

The defense objected to Triska’s characterization. After a lengthy bench conference Samour agreed and told the jury to disregard the comment. Triska wasn’t asked to explain further what Holmes did with the shackles.


Samantha Yowler, the girlfriend of one of the 12 people killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, was the first witness called to the stand Thursday morning in the trial of shooter James Holmes in Arapahoe County District Court.

Yowler and Matt McQuinn had been dating for about three years at the time they attended the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012, with Yowler’s brother, Nick.

Samantha testified that she and her brother had been talking about going to the Aurora Century 16 theater for the movie more than a week before the premiere, and that McQuinn originally said he planned to not even attend on account of being scheduled to work at 4 a.m. that morning.

McQuinn was shot and killed while shielding Samantha from oncoming gunfire.


AURORA | The final days of the prosecution’s case in the Aurora theater shooting trial are expected to include gut-wrenching testimony from Ashley Moser, who was paralyzed and whose 6-year-old daughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was killed in the shooting.

Lawyers for James Holmes have tried to block some of the testimony from Moser, but Judge Carlos Samour Jr. largely overruled those objections Thursday before the jury came in.

Samour said he won’t allow testimony about the last words Moser said to her daughter before the shooting, but he will allow her to discuss some of her concerns about bringing her young daughter to a midnight movie, as well as the fact that she was pregnant and lost her unborn baby after she was shot.

Also Thursday, prosecutors are expected to recall Robert Feinstein, a University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus doctor who treated Holmes before the shooting.

The trial started in April and prosecutors are expected to wrap their case by the end of the week. Court will be in recess after that until next Thursday when the defense begins presenting their case.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 and wounding 70 others during the July 20, 2012, attack at an Aurora movie theater. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.