The defense team expects to finish its mitigation evidence no later than tomorrow. There will be more live testimony today; the videotaped testimony (recorded last Friday) will be tomorrow morning, at the latest. The judge hopes the case will go to the jury to decide part 2 of this penalty phase–whether the mitigation evidence outweighs the aggravating factors. If yes, then the case is finished and Holmes will receive a sentence of life without parole. If no, then part 3 will go forward where the jury will decide if death is the appropriate sentence. At this stage, the State will present victim impact statements. The jury’s decision at mitigation and life or death must be unanimous.

In other stories, prosecutors are looking into the death of 22-year-old Bobbi Kristini Brown. She died a few days ago, apparently never regaining consciousness after she was found facedown on January 31, 2015, in a bathtub and with bruises on her face. Had she been beaten and left to die? I’m not sure an investigation will ever reveal the truth but what little is known about the circumstances of her death, and the fight she reportedly had with her boyfriend that same day, certainly raise concerns.

A West Virginia woman working as an escort fought for her life when a man who responded to her ad showed up and tried to kill her. “Heather” struggled with him and somehow was able to grab his gun. She then shot and killed 45-year-old Neal Falls. This happened on July 18 but the story just broke yesterday. Heather has not been charged in the killing. In fact, she probably saved the lives of other escorts in West Virginia. After the killing, police searched Falls’s car and found handcuffs, an ax, machete, bulletproof vests, knives, boxcutter, bleach and trash bags. In addition there was a list of 10 West Virginia escorts with their ages and phone numbers. A kill list? Maybe. Authorities are now comparing DNA in other unsolved cases including four escorts from the Henderson/Las Vegas, NV area who went missing around 2005 (when Falls was living there). Their dismembered bodies were found in Illinois.

Back to Holmes…since the trial could be finished by the end of next week which means it’s time to look for other stories. Summer is traditionally a slow time for trials, especially in August, as everyone is taking a break. But they don’t come to an absolute halt…