James Holmes was mentally ill but legally sane when he shot 12 people to death during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Co., three years ago, according to a psychiatrist who spent 22 hours interviewing him.
Dr. William Reid is one of four psychiatrists who interviewed Holmes after the shooting, and his testimony is the first jurors have heard from a mental health expert during the five week trial. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and faces the death penalty if convicted.
“My opinion is that, whatever he suffered from, it did not prevent him from forming the intent and knowing what he was doing and the consequences of what he was doing,” Reid said, according to the Denver Post.
Jurors also watched some of Reid’s interview with Holmes, a process which will continue over the next three days. From the Post:
“What’s the first thing I need to know about James Holmes?” Reid asked during their initial meeting, in a room at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo in July 2014.
Holmes, often answering with clipped sentences throughout the meeting, smiled.
“Could you be more specific?” he replied.
On Wednesday, the spiral notebook Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist just before the shooting was released to the public. In addition to ramblings about the meaning of life and death (and pages with only the word “Why?” written over and over again), the notebook contains detailed diagrams and lists related to the shooting, as well as pages where Holmes debates which locations (“Airport or Movie theater”) would allow for “maximum casualties.”