Potential juror says she was shot, mom murdered in 2009
Feb. 04, 2015
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A prospective juror was released Wednesday from the Colorado theater shooting case after she tearfully told a judge her mother had been murdered and she was wounded five years ago in an unrelated attack.
The woman told Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. she had been shot nine times in December 2009.
"It's too hard to be here," she said.
The judge didn't ask for any specifics and the woman's name was not released. Samour wished her well and told her she was dismissed.
Jury selection in the case began on Jan. 20. Thus far, prospective panelists have been filling out questionnaires.
Lawyers are expected to begin questioning the candidates next week to find 12 jurors and 12 alternates to hear the case against James Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the 2012 attack in the Denver area.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
On Tuesday, Samour dismissed a potential juror who tore out her hair when she was told she would have to return for further questioning. The woman broke down outside the courtroom and away from Holmes and his attorneys.
The woman had brought her grandchild into the courthouse because she couldn't find daycare for the unvaccinated child. Samour said he was concerned about the health risks of having an unvaccinated child in court.
The woman began crying and became incoherent when told she would have to return later for further questioning.
The defense agreed to release her from jury duty after the outburst. On Wednesday, Samour said other potential jurors found clumps of hair on the floor.
An unprecedented 9,000 people were initially sent juror summonses. Samour has dismissed more than 1,000, many of whom brought notes from doctors, said they were not U.S. citizens or didn't speak English. Others have told the judge in written notes that serving will hurt their livelihoods or exacerbate family problems.