Final arguments in `Batman` theater massacre trial

Closing arguments began Tuesday in the trial of James Holmes, a week before the third anniversary of the shocking massacre of 12 people at a packed "Batman" movie premiere.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 15, 2015, 02:35 AM IST

Aurora: Closing arguments began Tuesday in the trial of James Holmes, a week before the third anniversary of the shocking massacre of 12 people at a packed "Batman" movie premiere.

Prosecutors say the 27-year-old troubled graduate student was sane as he "meticulously" planned the July 2012 shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and talked about wanting to kill people months before the event.

Defense attorneys however maintain that Holmes cannot be found guilty because he was insane at the time of the shootings.

Prosecutor George Brauchler, opening his two-hour closing statement to jurors, described events that tragic night.

"Three years from next Monday morning ... 400 people from this community filed into (the) theater. They came in happy, they came in hopeful of being entertained," said

"They came in hoping to see a story of a hero dressed in black, someone who would fight insurmountable odds in the name of justice and trying to protect others," Brauchler said, evoking the caped crusader star of the "Dark Knight" movies.

"Instead a different figure appeared by the screen dressed all in black. And he came there with one thing in his heart and in his mind -- and that was mass murder," the prosecutor said.

Holmes has been in custody since he was arrested outside the crowded theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises," the scene of the shooting spree that killed 12 people and wounded 70.

He faces two counts of murder or attempted murder for each of the 82 victims.

Judge Carlos Samour in his instructions to the jury Tuesday, read the names of the killed and injured aloud twice.

If found guilty, Holmes could face the death penalty.