James Holmes will return to court in Colorado on Monday at 11:30 a.m. for a crucial hearing in which prosecutors will outline their case against him. The case will be heard in the largest courtroom available, with two other rooms outfitted with monitors carrying a live stream of testimony for overflow crowds.
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Holmes, 25, is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 during the midnight showing on July 20 of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
The week-long preliminary hearing will ultimately decide whether the prosecution holds sufficient evidence to put Holmes on trial for 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and firearms offenses. The alleged shooter has yet to enter a plea.
Among those present in the courtroom will be survivors and relatives of the victims who have reportedly been warned to expect to hear graphic details and see exclusive video recorded inside the cinema on the night of the shooting. After having been warned, some of those families decided not to attend.
"We talked about it as a family, but we decided not to go," Mike White told the Los Angeles Times. His son was shot, but survived the massacre.
"He was really, really down. No smiles, no nothing. He is getting a little better, but he still isn't to the point of going out," White added.
While a gag order barred attorneys and investigators from speaking publicly about the case and the evidence involved, this morning’s hearing will give the public its first official look at much of the evidence against Holmes.
A profile of the former neuroscience student, which was composed shortly after his arrest, revealed that Holmes began to see a university psychiatrist and then dropped out of his course. He eventually began to stock up on weapons, ammunition, explosives and combat gear in the spring of last year, police. said
The alleged gunman, who has already gained a reputation for his bizarre behavior while appearing in court, could face the death penalty if convicted. USA Today reported that defense attorneys have said Holmes suffers from mental illness, which could mean they plan to attempt an insanity defense.
The Aurora shooting was one of a number of mass shootings in the U.S. last year.