Testimony in Penalty Trial of Colorado Movie Theater Killings

Survivors and first responders are expected to be called to the stand this week as testimony continues in the penalty trial for James Holmes, the man who shot scores of people inside a packed a suburban Denver movie theater almost three years ago.

Holmes' attorneys don't dispute what happened in July 2012 inside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, and they don't deny Holmes was the shooter.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 165 counts of murder and attempted murder, and defense attorneys say his mind was so distorted by schizophrenia that he didn't know right from wrong. If the jury finds he was insane, he would be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital.

Prosecutors have described Holmes as calculating and smart and say he believed killing others increased his self-worth. They are asking jurors to convict him of murder and sentence him to death.

Holmes' lawyers plan to call an expert witness who will testify that Holmes was insane: Dr. Raquel Gur, head of the neuropsychiatry program at the University of Pennsylvania medical school.

In Colorado, the burden is on prosecutors to prove that a defendant is sane, rather than the reverse.

Holmes lived with his parents Robert and Arlene Holmes in Rancho Penasquitos and attended Westview High School before setting off to study neuroscience at the University of Colorado.

More than two dozen victims and first responders testified during the first week of Holmes' trial, describing how a theater full of moviegoers excited to see a new Batman film became a scene of life-altering carnage and terror.

Defense attorneys have urged jurors not to let emotions sway them, but with weeks of harrowing testimony still to come, experts say Holmes' lawyers will have a difficult time convincing jurors to put sympathy behind them as they decide whether he was legally insane when he killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

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