Colorado Theater Shooting: Timeline of Events in James Holmes' Life - NBC 7 San Diego
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Colorado Theater Shooting: Timeline of Events in James Holmes' Life

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    Colorado Theater Shooting: Timeline of Events in James Holmes' Life
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2012 file photo, James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, appears in Arapahoe County District Court with defense attorney Tamara Brady.

    Former graduate student James Holmes massacred 12 people and wounded dozens of others in a Colorado movie theater in 2012.

    His attorneys argued he suffers from schizophrenia and was in the grip of a psychotic breakdown so severe that he was unable to tell right from wrong - Colorado's standard for insanity.

    Jurors rejected that argument and convicted him on 12 counts of murder in the first degree and multiple counts attempt to commit murder in the first degree. The verdict makes him eligible for the death penalty.

    Here are key dates in his life:

    Dec. 13, 1987 — Holmes is born in San Diego County, California, to Robert and Arlene Holmes.

    2006 — Graduates from Westview High School in San Diego.

    2010 — Graduates from the University of California, Riverside, with a B.S. in neuroscience.

    2011 — Holmes enrolls in the Ph.D. neuroscience program at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

    May 10, 2012 — Orders tear gas canisters online, according to prosecutors. Over the next few weeks, he also buys two handguns, a shotgun, an assault rifle, 6,295 rounds of ammunition and body armor, either in person or online, prosecutors say.

    June 10, 2012 — Files paperwork to withdraw from the neuroscience program but doesn't say why.

    June 11, 2012 — Meets with his psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton of the University of Colorado. Fenton tells a campus police officer Holmes has made homicidal statements and sent her threatening text messages.

    July 20, 2012 — Holmes slips through a back door of the Century 16 theater in Aurora, where about 420 people are watching a midnight showing of a Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," and opens fire. Ten people die at the scene, two die at hospitals, and 70 are injured. Officers find Holmes leaning against his car behind the theater and arrest him without a struggle. Later, police find booby-trapped bombs and a Batman mask at Holmes' apartment. The bombs are defused.

    July 23, 2012 — Holmes makes his first court appearance, his hair dyed orange-red, face unshaven, eyes appearing dazed.

    Oct. 11, 2012 — Prosecutors finalize the charges against Holmes: 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder, two counts for each person killed and two for each person injured. He's also charged with possession of explosives and committing a crime of violence.

    Nov. 15, 2012 — Holmes is taken to a hospital psychiatric ward and held for several days, sometimes in restraints, because he was "in immediate need of a psychiatric evaluation," according to his attorneys.

    Jan. 10, 2013 — The judge rules the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial.

    March 27, 2013 — Holmes' attorneys say he's willing to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. Prosecutors later reject the plea offer, saying it isn't genuine and that Holmes is sane.

    April 1, 2013 — Prosecutors say they'll seek the death penalty.

    May 13, 2013 — Defense lawyers tell the judge Holmes wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

    June 4, 2013 — The judge accepts Holmes' insanity plea and orders Holmes to undergo a mental evaluation.

    July 10, 2013 — Holmes' lawyers acknowledge he was the shooter but say he was "in the throes of a psychotic episode."

    Nov. 7, 2014 — The judge says he'll issue 9,000 jury summonses, believed to be the largest number ever for a U.S. trial.

    Jan. 20, 2015 — Jury selection begins.

    April 14, 2015 — Twelve jurors and 12 alternates are chosen to hear the case.

    April 27, 2015 — Prosecutors and defense lawyers are scheduled to make their opening statements.

    June 19, 2015 — Prosecution rests after two months of heart-wrenching testimony from theater shooting survivors and accounts from psychiatrists who interviewed Holmes.

    June 25, 2015 — Holmes' defense team opens its case, starting with jail video showing Holmes falling backward off his bunk, followed by a psychiatrist who determined Holmes was legally insane at the time of the shootings.

    July 15, 2015 — Jurors begin deliberating.

    July 16, 2015 — Jurors return a verdict, convicting Holmes on multiple counts of murder of the first degree and attempt to commit murder in the first degree. The same panel will decide his punishment.

    July 27, 2015 - Chris Holmes testifies her older brother's eyes and demeanor were different when she visited him in jail nearly two years after the attack.

    July 28, 2015 - Robert Holmes testifies that when he and his wife visited their son after his arrest, he "was clearly messed up" -- his eyes bulging and his pupils dilated. He also said they were not aware their son had been seeing a psychiatrist.

    July 29, 2015 - Arlene Holmes testifies, "Schizophrenia chose him; he didn't choose it."

    July 29, 2015 - James Holmes addresses the judge, "I choose not to testify."

    Aug. 3, 2015 - Jurors decline to rule out the death penalty.

    Aug. 4, 2015 - Survivors and victims' families testify.

    Aug. 6, 2015 - Jurors begin deliberating in final phase of sentencing after defense lawyers make one more appeal for mercy.

    Aug. 7, 2015 - Jurors signal they have reached a verdict.