Report: Aurora theater shooting suspect claims he has amnesia

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James E. Holmes

James E. Holmes at his first court appearance Monday, July 23, 2012.

AURORA, Colo. — The man accused of shooting 70 people and killing 12 at an Aurora movie theater a week ago is telling jailhouse workers he doesn’t remember doing it, according to a report.

The New York Daily News is reporting that James E. Holmes is telling Arapahoe County Jail employees that he suffers from amnesia.

“He claims he doesn’t know why he’s in jail,” an unnamed Arapahoe County Jail source told the News. “He asked, ‘Why am I here?'”

The same unnamed employee told the News that Holmes, 24, is also critical about the cuisine at the jail, claiming it gives him stomach aches.

“He complained once that he didn’t like the food,” the employee is quoted as saying. “The guy killed 12 people, and he’s upset that he’s not getting a four-star meal?”

Holmes can talk to jail workers all he wants, the employee said, “everyone is convinced he is faking it.”

“He needs to save his act for the jury,” the employee continued.

Holmes remains in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. For the one hour he’s allowed out of his cell, he’s being forced to wear a bulletproof vest for his own protection, according to the News.

Holmes’ next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, when he will hear a reading of the formal charges being filed against him. Arapahoe County District Court Judge William Blair Sylvester, who is overseeing the case, has ordered cameras barred from that and all further proceedings in the case.

Sylvester has also issued several other orders to limit media access.

A gag order has been issued barring the defense team, the prosecution and law-enforcement agencies from speaking to the media. An order barring the the University of Colorado-Denver, where Holmes was a former graduate student, from releasing any records about the suspect has also been ordered.

Holmes reportedly sent a notebook detailing his plan for the shootings to the CU-Denver medical campus that was not discovered until after the attack.

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