The implements of massacre piled up in the courtroom Thursday as prosecutors in the Aurora, Col., theater shooting trial laid out their evidence, says the Denver Post. First came People’s Exhibit 652, a black duffel with an AR-15 rifle user’s manual inside. Then came exhibits 654 and 656, two empty rifle cases. Then a bulletproof neck protector. A gas mask. A pair of bulletproof leggings. A military-style ballistic helmet with thin, orange hairs stuck in the padding.
These are the things prosecutors say James Holmes carried with him to the Century Aurora 16 theater on July 20, 2012, when he shot and killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. To prosecutors, the volume is significant because it reveals a level of planning that they contend shows Holmes was sane at the time of the shooting. The defense has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, while prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Court staffers passed the 48 pieces of evidence to jurors, who quietly looked at each one.