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Home  >  Topics  >  Corrections

October 11, 2013
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Police: Colo. theater gunman researched 'insanity'

An investigator found that Holmes did a search on his computer for 'rational insanity'

Associated Press

CENTENNIAL, Colo.  — An investigator said Thursday an Internet search on the words "rational insanity" was done on a computer belonging to James Holmes, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the Colorado theater shootings.

Aurora Police Detective Michael Leiker testified during a pretrial hearing that he found evidence of the search on a computer he examined during the investigation of the 2012 shooting at a suburban Denver theater.

Leiker says the search was done on the Bing search engine, but he offered no other details.

It wasn't clear who did the search or when it was done. Neither prosecutors nor defense lawyers asked Leiker to elaborate.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 as they watched a midnight showing of a Batman movie. He is charged with more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

He appeared in court Thursday in the customary red jail uniform and shackles and chatted with one of his attorneys before the hearing began.

His dark hair was slicked back and a reddish stubble of whiskers covered his cheeks. He had recently appeared clean-shaven after cutting off a thick, woolly beard.

Holmes' trial, scheduled to start with jury selection in February, will turn on whether prosecutors can prove he was sane at the time of the shootings. Defense lawyers have acknowledged Holmes was the shooter but said he was gripped by a psychotic episode at the time.

Colorado law defines insanity as the inability to tell right from wrong, caused by a mental disease or defect.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that he did know right from wrong, citing evidence that he spent months assembling the attack and allegedly wrote on two dating websites, "Will you visit me in prison?"

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press

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