The Lookout

Updates from hearing: Holmes said to have rigged home with explosives to distract police

Jason Sickles, Yahoo
The Lookout

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In this file photo, police are pictured outside of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. on July 20, 2012. …

Editor’s note: No electronic equipment is allowed in the courtroom. We’ll update here when possible during recesses and other breaks.

[Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - At times late Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Fyles had to pause to compose himself while on the stand confirming the names and injuries of all 83 people killed, shot or injured by suspected gunman James Holmes' actions.

Fyles seemed particularly poignant on the names where he had more personal knowledge.

"He can't move his arms or legs," Fyles said of a man who is permanently paralyzed.

After helping prosecutors enter the names of the injured, prosecutors asked him to verify the names of the deceased.

Family members of Rebecca Wingo, a 32-year-old mother of two, sobbed as her name and the criminal charges associated with her death were read aloud.

Holmes faces a total of 166 criminal counts. Where warranted, the state of Colorado allows dual charges (premeditated and without remorse) for murder and attempted murder.

Testimony in the preliminary hearing resumes at 9 a.m. Mountain time Wednesday.

[Updated at 6 p.m. ET/4 p.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Five hundred Aurora police officers, detectives and other personnel have authored reports related to the mass shooting at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last summer, Sgt. Matthew Fyles testified Tuesday afternoon.

Fyles, who supervised the investigation, is now on the stand confirming the names, injuries and charges related to all victims on Tuesday.

In addition to the 12 people killed, 58 victims suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds. Prosecutors are counting another 13 moviegoers among the official victims because they received chemical injuries or other non-gunshot wound injuries. Four-month-old Ethan Rohrs was is among the 13.

"He was dropped when his parents were trying to flee," Fyles said, noting the baby suffered bumps and bruises.

More people were killed or injured in the rampage than any other mass shooting in the country's history.

Today's testimony is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. Mountain time.

[Updated at 5 p.m ET/3 p.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A detective who interviewed James Holmes in the hours after the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., testified he saw no reason to obtain a search warrant to test the suspect for possible drug use, despite some unusual behavior from Holmes at police headquarters.

“I saw no indications that he was under the influence of anything,” said Detective Craig Appel during a preliminary hearing for Holmes on Tuesday.

Under cross examination, Appel admitted that one of the officers guarding Holmes in a room at police headquarters saw the suspect try to stick a staple into an electric socket while waiting to be interviewed. In another incident, the same officer saw Holmes moving his hands in a “talking puppet motion” after they were covered by paper bags for evidence reasons.

It was also revealed that Holmes was playing with a Styrofoam cup while at a table, Appel said: “He was just trying to flip the cup on the table."

[Updated at 2:25 p.m ET/12:25 p.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - In the two months leading up to the Aurora, Colo., movie massacre, suspect James Holmes purchased four handguns and nearly 6,300 rounds of ammunition online and in person, an investigator testified Tuesday morning.

On cross-examination, ATF Special Agent Steven Beggs said the weaponry was legally purchased because Holmes had cleared all background checks.

"Is there any process in Colorado to screen out whether a severely mentally ill person is purchasing these items?" asked Tamara Brady, one of Holmes' public defenders.

"No," Beggs replied.

The last witness of the morning was Aurora Detective Tom Welton. Part of his assignment in the investigation was to verify that Holmes had created profiles on relationship-seeking sites Match.com and AdultFriendFinder.com.

Welton said the defendant had used his own credit card and computer to start his Match.com account on April 19, 2012. He created the AdultFriendFinder profile on July 5.

The detective testified that, at one time or another, Holmes used the words, "Will you visit me in prison?" as a status/headline on the sites.

Holmes last visited both dating sites on July 18, two days before the early-morning massacre at the movie theater.

[Updated 1:19 p.m. ET/11:19 MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A federal agent testified Tuesday that James Holmes, who is charged in the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre, had booby-trapped his apartment and intended it to serve as a distraction while he went on his shooting rampage.

FBI bomb tech Garrett Gumbinner testified that Holmes used improvised napalm, homemade thermite, gasoline, smokeless gun powder, rifle bullets and a host of wiring and electronics to rig more than a dozen explosives and incendiary devices.

Holmes told the agent that he hoped to draw his neighbors and police to the elaborate system by setting up music to be played loudly from his home computer or a boom box he placed near a dumpster outside his apartment.

Above the boom box was a remote-controlled toy car and what looked like a remote control, but was in actuality a controller used in fireworks shows. It would have set off the explosives inside the apartment.

Meanwhile, fishing line tied to the apartment door would also have set off the explosives.

The testimony came during the second day of a preliminary hearing to determine if Holmes should stand trial for the shooting deaths of 12 people and for charges that he wounded numerous other people in the attack.

Prosecutors also played the audio of two 911 calls during the morning court session.

During one call, 30 loud gunshots can be heard during a 27-second call from inside the Aurora movie theater during the rampage. That 911 call, made by moviegoer Kevin Quinonez, was replayed in open court and caused survivors and victims’ family members in attendance to hide their faces and wipe away tears.

A second call played for the court was from a 13-year-old girl, whose aunt and cousin was shot. On that four-minute call, a 911 operator tried repeatedly to instruct the teen how to perform CPR on one of her cousins who had not yet died.

“I can’t hear you” the girl says on the 911 tape. “I’m sorry.”

[Updated at 9 a.m. ET/7 a.m. MT]

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Day two of James Holmes’ preliminary hearing on mass murder charges could offer more clues to whether prosecutors and defense attorneys are prepping for a possible insanity defense.

At times on Monday, through video, police testimony and the reciting of witness statements, both sides seemed to try to frame Holmes’ state of mind before, during and immediately after 12 people were killed and 58 injured in the movie theater rampage in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012.

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Sketch of James Holmes being led into court on Monday. (REUTERS/Bill Robles)

Century 16 security cameras showed a nonchalant Holmes holding the door for others as he entered the movie theater shortly after midnight. He used his cellphone to print his ticket to the premier of "The Dark Knight Rises.” He dawdled near a concession stand for several minutes before entering Theater 9, where the shootings took place.

Investigators say Holmes went out a side fire exit close to where his car was parked behind the complex. He then donned police-like tactical gear and got his guns before re-entering the side door about 20 minutes into the film.

Arresting Officer Jason Oviatt was the hearing’s first witness.

“He seemed very detached from it all,” Oviatt testified, adding that his notes from that night state that Holmes "simply stared off into the distance" and "seemed to be out of it and disoriented.”

But a second officer testified that Holmes smiled when he asked him about accomplices.

“It was like a smirk,” Officer Justin Grizzle testified.

Detective Matthew Ingui said a witness told him that the gunman was "very calm and moving with purpose."

Late in the day, defense attorney Daniel King engaged the Arapahoe County coroner in a discussion about the definition of a homicide.

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