ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes has spent the last two months in a special cell at the Arapahoe County Jail away from the general inmate population. But he is still being watched.
And now one of those inmates is speaking out.
FOX31 Denver’s Justin Joseph spoke with a former Arapahoe County Jail inmate who claims Holmes is being held in the jail’s medical ward. She said she knows this because she was held there this past weekend — sleeping in a bed just four cells away.
Marie didn’t want to give us her last name, but she wants the world to know how the man accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 others is acting behind bars.
Not only does Holmes appear to be sane, Marie said, he appears to be flaunting his sanity.
Her first interaction with Holmes came Saturday morning when her cell mate confronted the 24-year-old as he was taking a shower.
“She yelled out, ‘You effin’ baby killer! You effin’ murderer!’” Marie said. “He’s like in the shower, and he’s like, ‘That’s me! That’s me!’”
When she first crossed Holmes’ path, Marie had to be convinced that the man she was seeing was indeed Holmes. Her cell mate was the one who confirmed it.
“I was like ‘is that him?'” Marie said. “She (the fellow inmate) was like ‘yeah that’s him. That’s James Holmes, but he had his head shaved.’”
Marie was describing Holmes’ recently-unveiled new look, which was seen in court Thursday and in a new booking photo released by police. He’s ditched the long, dyed-red hair for shaved brown locks, and is now also sporting a minimal amount of facial hair.
Marie said she suffers from a medical condition, which is why she was housed in the jail’s medical ward. She drew a diagram of the ward, and claims Holmes, who is separated from the general inmate population, is held in cell M1 just across from deputies.
She was in cell M5, a few cells down.
Being so close, Marie claims she was able to overhear Holmes speaking to his father on a pay phone.
“He was like, ‘Hey Dad,’ and he was talking to him about putting money on his books,” Marie said. “He was like ‘I’ll get through this. I’ll beat this. I’ll be fine.’”
Before dinner each night, Marie said she walked by Holmes’ cell, which contained a larger bed than most, a window to the outside, checkers and dominoes and a picture on the wall that displays his red hair just after he dyed it — a photo taken days before the attack.
She said he also has a booking photo on the wall and newspaper clippings from the shooting.
“I don`t know how he got that stuff,” Marie said. “But he’s glorifying what he did.”
Marie said she saw Holmes nearly 10 times over the three days she was in the medical ward. She said she’s coming forward because she believes Holmes is not the subdued, insane man he has portrayed himself to be.
“James Holmes is a very smart person who calculated this out,” Marie said. “He knew what he did and is trying to play a role to get off.”
When we spoke to the Arapahoe County Sheriff, he said he could not confirm any of Marie’s comments because of the gag order issued by a judge in Holmes’ murder trial. But the sheriff did confirm the medical ward houses both men and women.
Marie claims Holmes is being treated “like a king” inside the jail, “with extra privileges.” She said he even gets extra T.V. time.
Joseph finished his interview by asking Marie two questions. The first: Do you think James Holmes is insane? “There’s no way,” Marie said.
The second: You said Holmes has made a confession of guilt. What did he say? “His words were, ‘Yes, I did it. I did it,'” Marie said.