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Napolitano: Why the State May Be Trying to Persuade Aurora Shooting Suspect James Holmes That He’s Better Off Pleading Guilty

In a Colorado courtroom today, prosecutors gave the first detailed account of what happened during the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre. Twelve people died in the attack, and 58 were wounded.

Alicia Acuna reports that two veteran police officers broke down while on the witness stand during today’s hearing.

Aurora Police Officer Justin Grizzle testified that as he went into Theater 9, he heard people screaming, “Help us, help us.” Grizzle transported victims to the hospital in the back of his patrol car while waiting for ambulances to arrive on scene.


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Police testified that when coming upon the scene, they believed the suspect, James Holmes, was a fellow law enforcement officer because he was wearing a helmet and gas mask. When he simply stood in front of his car doing nothing amid the chaos, they realized he may be the shooter.

Officer Grizzle testified that when he asked Holmes who was helping him, Holmes looked at him and smiled. In describing the smile, Grizzle said, “Like a smirk.”

Judge Napolitano broke down the hearing, saying that in essence such hearings are held in order to determine whether there’s enough evidence for the case to go to trial. In this particular case, Napolitano argues that the state may not want to try the case.

“The state may want to persuade the defendant and his lawyers that he would be best off pleading guilty and going away for the rest of his life rather than exposing himself to this horrific, horrendous, gut-wrenching testimony and risking being condemned to death,” the judge said.

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