Colorado theater shooter’s sister says his eyes changed

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The younger sister of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes became the first in her family to testify at his trial, saying Monday in an effort to spare his life that her brother’s eyes and demeanor were different when she visited him in jail nearly two years after the attack.

 

During a visit in May 2014, he responded to questions with one-word answers, Chris Holmes, 22, testified during the sentencing phase of her brother’s trial. And his eyes “were almost bulging out of his head in a way,” she said.

 

Jurors are considering whether James Holmes should serve life in prison without parole or be executed for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in a crowded movie theater in July 2012. Defense attorneys say he should get a life term because he was suffering a severe psychotic break at the time.

 

Chris Holmes described a normal childhood packed with family vacations, but she said her brother had a hard time finding friends and adjusting when they moved from the California city of Salinas to San Diego.

 

File – In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater mass shooter James Holmes, who was convicted on July 16, 2015, appears in court, in Centennial, Colo. Even if Holmes is sentenced to death, he could spend much of the rest of his life in prison awaiting execution. Colorado has executed only one person in the last forty years, Gary Davis, in 1997. Just three people sit on death row in Colorado. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, file)