UPDATE on 7/15/15:

The court has released the jury instructions and sample verdict forms.  See links below.

Jury Instructions (Holmes)

Sample Verdict Forms (Holmes)

Approximately 250 witnesses testified since late April in the capital murder trial of James Holmes, accused of killing 12 and wounding 70 moviegoers on July 20, 2012 at an Aurora, Colorado movie complex. Holmes admits he committed the acts but he says he was so mentally ill that he didn’t have the capacity to know what he did was wrong. In other words, he was legally insane.

Jurors will hear closing arguments today which, given that Judge Carlos Samour is a stickler for timing, are likely to start and finish in one day. Judge Samour has limited the attorneys to two hours on each side. The State will go first but the State can also go last, in rebuttal, so long as the total time remains at two hours. In between the State’s arguments, the defense will summarize its evidence and argue that Holmes was legally insane.

Jurors will deliberate during court hours and on regular court days; they will not be sequestered. The alternates will remain at the courthouse but separate from the deliberating jurors. If there is a penalty phase, the alternates will rejoin the panel for more testimony. Once the jury reaches a verdict on all counts, the judge will delay its public announcement by three hours in order to give the various parties and families ample time to arrive at the courthouse.

The first order of business for the jury today will be to listen to about an hour’s worth of complicated jury instructions. Deliberations will probably start tomorrow.

THE VICTIMS who died on July 20, 2012
Victims

Court got off to a late start. Jurors didn’t enter until about 9:25 am MST, rather than the scheduled 9:00 am.

Judge informs the jury that there are 165 counts, not 166. He explains that there are two charges for each deceased victim: deliberation and extreme indifference are the two theories. Regarding the victims who survived, there are two counts for each under the same theories except they include “attempt to commit murder.” There is one count of possession or control of an incendiary device or explosive.

Judge has his staff distribute a copy of the jury instructions and a copy of five sample verdict forms to each juror. Jurors will have copies of the instructions while deliberating.

The instructions took about 1.5 hours. I’ll summarize the verdict forms and elements of the charges soon.

While the jury is on a break, Dan King is objecting to the State’s powerpoint of 859 slides which contains the exhibits and what King describes as the argument itself.

The 30 jury instructions included a list of the elements of each of the five crimes charges: Murder in the First Degree/after deliberation, Murder in the First Degree/extreme indifference, Attempted Murder in the First Degree/after deliberation, Attempted Murder in the First Degree/extreme indifference, and Possession or Control of an Incendiary or Explosive Device.

Jurors also were given instruction on how to read and complete each verdict form. There are five types of forms corresponding to the five different crimes. All verdict forms except for count 141 (Incendiary or Explosive Device count) has three parts: A, B, C. Count 141 only has Part A and B.

Part A is where the jury says GUILTY or NOT GUILTY to the crime charged or one of the two lesser-included charges. Count 141, however, does not have any lesser charges.

Part B is completed ONLY if jurors vote NOT GUILTY to the crime charged and the two lesser-included charges. It is in Part B that jurors will reveal whether their not guilty verdict was based solely on the state’s failure to prove sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. If so, they will answer “yes” to the question posed in Part B. If the not guilty verdict is based on the State’s failure to prove another element of the crime charged, then they will answer “no” to the question posed in Part B.

Part C is completed ONLY if jurors vote GUILTY to the crime charged or one of the lesser-included charges. Part C is a weapons-enhancement section. It applies to 164 of the 165 counts. Obviously, count 141 doesn’t include a weapons enhancement as it’s the charge involving the devices he rigged in his apartment. That’s why count 141 only has Parts A and B.

Following are the elements of the five crimes charged and the lesser-included charges. (NOTE: I need to review a few of these as I took fast notes and didn’t get the exact language.)

CRIME ONE
Murder in the First Degree/after deliberation (12 counts)

1. The defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. after deliberation
4. with intent
5. to cause the death of another person
6. caused the death of another person
7. the defendant was not insane at the time

Murder in the Second Degree (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. caused the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

Manslaughter (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. recklessly
4. caused the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

CRIME TWO
Murder in the First Degree/extreme indifference (12 counts)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. under circumstances evidencing an attitude of universal malice and extreme indifference to the value of human life
5. engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another person
6. caused the death of another person
7. the defendant was not insane at the time

Murder in the Second Degree (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. caused the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

Manslaughter (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. recklessly
4. caused the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

CRIME THREE
Attempted Murder in the First Degree/after deliberation (70 counts)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. after deliberation
4. with intent
5. engaged in conduct that constituted a substantial step toward commission of the offense
6. the defendant was not insane at the time

Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. engaged in conduct that constituted a substantial step toward knowingly causing the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

Attempted Manslaughter (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. recklessly
4. engaged in conduct that constituted a substantial step toward recklessly causing the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

CRIME FOUR
Attempted Murder in the First Degree/extreme indifference (70 counts)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. engaged in conduct constituting a substantial step toward evidencing an attitude of universal malice and an extreme indifference to human life
5. the defendant was not insane at the time

Attempted Murder in the Second Degree (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. engaged in conduct constituting a substantial step toward knowingly causing the death of another person
5. the defendant was not insane at the time.

Attempted Manslaughter (lesser-included charge)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. engaged in conduct constituting a substantial step toward recklessly causing the death of another person
4. the defendant was not insane at the time

CRIME FIVE
Possession or Control of an Explosive or Incendiary Device (no lesser charges)

1. the defendant
2. in the State of Colorado on or about the date and place charged
3. knowingly
4. possessed, controlled, manufactured…
5. an explosive or incendiary device
6. the defendant was not insane at the time

Brauchler’s summation lasted about one hour, 35 minutes. He has 25 minutes left for rebuttal. Dan King will have up to two hours after the afternoon break which was called at 3:05 pm MST.

THE DELIBERATING JURY

The deliberating jurors are 9 women and 3 men:

Juror 640/seat 1: A white woman in her 40s who’s a union plumber, with a daughter in the Army and a son in the Marines. She said she doesn’t watch the news.

Juror 17/seat 2: A white female lawyer in her 40s or 50s who’s a caregiver for her elderly parents. She said was against the “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea and that the death penalty should be rare.

Juror 329/seat 3: A white woman in her late 20s who was a volunteer victims’ advocate in Aurora from 2008 to 2010. She said she dealt with sexual assault victims and crimes against people and was herself a victim of crime.

Juror 535/seat 5: A middle-aged white woman formerly married to a San Antonio, Texas, police officer. She said she was hospitalized for being a danger to herself in a bout of depression after her divorce. She said a niece was in cafeteria at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher and injured 21 other people.

Juror 87/seat 6: A middle-aged white woman who said she has a drug-addicted son and has dealt with depression. She said she believes some people are evil and have no soul.

Juror 118/seat 11: A white female physicist with degrees in mathematics and psychology who works with explosives. She said she is a competitive shooter and that her husband is a nationally ranked competitive shooter. Husband and mother suffered from depression. She said her son-in-law is an Iraq war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Juror 378/seat 13: A white woman who looks to be in her 50s and who was a paramedic for 20 years transporting mentally ill patients. She said she is not against the death penalty if it is applied appropriately.

Juror 155/seat 14: A middle-aged white man in his 50s. He said he was living in California at the time of the shootings and doesn’t know much about case.

Juror 527/seat 15: A white man in his 30s who’s a store manager for Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Juror 737/seat 17: A white man in his 20s or 30s who was at Columbine High School during the 1999 massacre. He said Harris and Klebold were his best friends through the eighth grade and that one of their victims was his prom date and best friend in high school. He said he spent 10 years in therapy after the shootings and was concerned that he might not be able to handle the evidence.

Juror 557/seat 21: A white woman in her 30s or 40s. She said mental illness is no excuse for committing a serious crime. She said she hasn’t followed the case closely.

Juror 311/seat 23: A middle-aged white woman. She said she wants to hear from Holmes’s parents.