The Latest: Colorado shooting judge holds woman in contempt
Jul. 30, 2015
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial (all times local):
The judge in the Colorado shooting case has sentenced a woman to three weeks in jail for interrupting the lead prosecutor during closing arguments in the latest stage of the penalty phase.
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. found Deborah Cave in contempt, saying her outburst Thursday "was offensive to the authority and the dignity of the court."
After Cave was sentenced, she yelled, "Y'all are just going to create 12 more murderers," referring to the jury. As she was being led out of court, she added, "you can't justify murder with murder."
Cave began yelling just before jurors began considering whether James Holmes' mental illness might be a reason to spare him from the death penalty. She shouted, "Don't kill him. Don't kill him," and continued yelling as she was pulled out of the courtroom and the door was closed.
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have gone home for the day after starting deliberations on whether to keep the death penalty on the table for gunman James Holmes.
They met for about a half hour Thursday after hearing closing arguments from prosecutors and the defense about whether Holmes' mental illness or other reasons should lead them to sentence him to life in prison instead of death.
Lawyers are headed back to court find out what Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. will do about a woman who interrupted closing arguments by shouting, "Don't kill him."
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have started considering whether to keep the death penalty on the table for gunman James Holmes or sentence him to life in prison because of his mental illness or other factors.
They began deliberations Thursday, not long after a woman interrupted the prosecution's closing arguments by shouting, "Don't kill him."
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. told jurors to ignore the outburst and treat it as if it never happened.
After jurors left, he said the woman is homeless, had been attending proceedings for the last several days and that authorities had some concerns about her.
Prosecutors asked her to be held in contempt of court, but defense attorneys said she should offered help for mental illness. Samour said he doesn't assume she is mentally ill and will consider what to do next.
A woman has been removed from the Colorado theater shooting trial after shouting "don't kill him" during the district attorney's closing arguments in the latest stage of the penalty phase.
As District Attorney George Brauchler spoke about how jurors should consider mental illness in deciding James Holmes' fate, a woman shouted, "He's wrong," and, "Don't kill him. Don't kill him." She continued speaking as she was pulled out of the courtroom and the door was closed.
It wasn't immediately clear who the woman is.
Defense attorneys in the Colorado theater shooting case are urging jurors to spare the life of gunman James Holmes because he is mentally ill.
In closing arguments in the latest stage of Holmes' sentencing trial, lawyer Tamara Brady says Holmes wouldn't have dyed his hair orange, amassed an arsenal of weapons or attacked a crowded movie premiere three years ago if not for his psychosis and delusions.
She says his mental illness was in his DNA at birth and began developing in his high school years.
Jurors will decide if his mental illness or other factors should allow him to spend the rest of his life in prison. Or they could decide the death penalty is still as an option.
The judge in the Colorado theater shooting trial is giving instructions to the jury to guide their deliberations in the next step of the sentencing phase.
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. is reading the guidelines to the jury Thursday before closing arguments. Jurors must decide whether to keep the death penalty as an option for James Holmes or send him to prison for life for killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a packed movie premiere.
Last week, jurors unanimously agreed that the 2012 attack was cruel enough to justify execution. Next, they must decide whether there are reasons to spare Holmes' life, including his mental illness.
Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial.
Last week, jurors unanimously agreed that James Holmes' 2012 attack was cruel enough to justify the death penalty. Next, they must decide whether there are reasons to spare Holmes' life, including his mental illness.
If they do, Holmes would be sentenced to life in prison without parole. If they decide the death penalty is still an option, they would move to a final phase in which they would hear from victims of the attack that left 12 dead and 70 injured.
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. is scheduled to deliver instructions to the jury to guide their deliberations and then the defense and prosecutors will make their closing arguments.