wants Colorado theater model barred from accused gunman’s trial
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[June 07, 2014]
By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - An FBI model of the
Colorado cinema where 12 moviegoers were shot to death in 2012 should
not be used at the trial of the accused gunman because it was damaged
during shipping, defense lawyers said on Friday.
Attorneys for James Holmes said in a motion that a large-scale
model of the Century 16 movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora
was built by FBI technicians in Virginia.
But it was damaged when it was shipped to the FBI’s Denver field
office earlier this year, and was later repaired with "materials
purchased at a local Home Depot."
"The model now has scale issues with small details both inside and
outside the theater," the motion said.
Defense lawyers said they did not know if whoever made the repairs
had specialized training in crime scene reconstruction. As such,
they said it was unreliable and prosecutors should be barred from
using it as evidence.
Prosecutors have not formally responded to the motion, but defense
lawyers indicated the government opposed excluding the model as
Holmes, 26, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the
massacre that killed 12 and injured 70 others during a screening of
the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."
Prosecutors have charged him with multiple counts of first-degree
murder and attempted murder stemming from the shooting rampage. His
lawyers have acknowledged their client was the sole gunman, but say
he suffers from a chronic mental illness.
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Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for the
California native if he is convicted of the mass murder.
It is unclear when Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos
Samour will rule on the motion. The trial is set to begin with jury
selection in mid-October.
(Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)
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