Judge denies change of venue for theater shooting trial, at least for now

James Holmes

James Holmes

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The Aurora Theater Shooter’s trail will remain in Arapahoe County, for now. The judge in the case issued that order Friday, saying a fair and impartial jury can be selected, despite the high profile nature of the case.

Attorneys for James Holmes requested to move the trail to another jurisdiction because of prejudicial publicity.

“Moving a jury trial from one jurisdiction to another is something that`s frequently talked about, and rarely, rarely used,” said legal analyst Dan Recht.

Judge Carlos Samour said before the venue can change, they must try to pick a jury, adding it would be premature to rule without first assessing the jury pool.

“The response of those jurors would be the best barometer of whether they can get a fair jury in Arapahoe County,” Recht said, adding he’s not surprised by Judge Samour’s ruling. “This case has garnered so much public attention and so much media attention, that to move the case anywhere in the Denver-metro area, wouldn`t really solve the problem,” he said.

Moving it outside the metro area could also present issues. “That would create a logistical nightmare. There are lots of lawyers involved, hundreds of witnesses,” Recht said. He also said this ruling shouldn’t have too much effect on the case. “They still have a strong case for Mr. Holmes being not guilty by reason of insanity,” Recht said.

The court has ordered 6,000 jury summonses to find a prospective pool of at least 2,500. That is more than 20 times the normal size. If an impartial jury can’t be found, then they can consider moving the trail.

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the Aurora Theater Massacre. 12 people were killed, 70 others hurt.