SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

April 2, 2013

Colorado prosecutors seek execution in theater attack

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — For James Holmes, “justice is death,” prosecutors said yesterday in announcing they will seek his execution if he is convicted in the Colorado movie theater attack that killed 12 people.

The decision — disclosed in court just days after prosecutors publicly rejected Holmes’ offer to plead guilty if they took the death penalty off the table — elevated the already sensational case to a new level and could cause it to drag on for years.

“It’s my determination and my intention that in this case, for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death,” District Attorney George Brauchler said, adding that he had discussed the case with 60 people who lost relatives in the July 20 shooting rampage by a gunman in a gas mask and body armor during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie.

There was no audible reaction from the 25-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, who sat with his back to reporters, or from victims’ families in the courtroom.

Holmes’ parents sat side by side in the gallery, clutching hands with fingers intertwined.

The decision had been widely predicted by legal analysts.

Within minutes of it becoming official, the trial was pushed back from August to next February and Judge William B. Sylvester removed himself from the case, saying that now that the charges carry the death penalty they will take years to resolve and he does not have the time to devote to such a drawn-out matter.

Despite the potential for more delays, some of those who lost loved ones were happy with prosecutors’ decision.

“I had a huge adrenaline rush,” said Bryan Beard, whose best friend Alex Sullivan was killed in the attack. “I love the choice. I love it, I love it.” He added: “I hope I’m in the room when he dies.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140765_SN_DLE_FESSENDEN4 Special Spaces transforms two downstairs rooms into playroom for Riley Fessenden

    BEVERLY -- What happens when the perfect kid-friendly playroom appears in your house overnight? Beverly's Fessenden kids were mostly speechless when they returned from seeing "The Little Mermaid" on Saturday and got their first look at the playroom t

    July 28, 2014 10 Photos

  • Beverly Hospital courier loses patients’ lab forms

    BEVERLY -- A courier for Beverly Hospital last month lost lab request forms for 54 patients that included names, health insurance identification numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. The courier misplaced the forms, which were in a zip

    July 28, 2014

  • Big plans for three parks in the Point neighborhood SALEM -- One will be overhauled, another created from scratch, and a third will get a spiffed-up community garden. It's a good time to be a park in the Point neighborhood. The densely packed area just south of the city's downtown is on the verge of i

    July 28, 2014

  • Peabody could see school choice profit next year PEABODY -- After three years, the city's schools are projected not only to break even on school choice, but actually make a $30,000 profit. School officials expect to lose just under $300,000 in state aid next year for students who opt to attend scho

    July 28, 2014

  • 140723_SN_DLE_SALVARMY2 Dennis and Susan Knight take over Salem Salvation Army operation

    SALEM -- It was Christmas Eve in Sanford, Maine, but 8-year-old Dennis Knight and his three sisters had good reason to be short on holiday spirit: Their mom and dad had warned them there would be no Christmas that year. The family couldn't afford it.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos