914 days after Aurora theater shooting, jury selection to begin in Holmes trial

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Exactly 2 1/2 years after the Aurora theater shooting, jury selection for the trial is set to begin.

The first set of 250 potential jurors out of a pool of 9,000 who have been summoned will be at Arapahoe County Court beginning at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday.

The process of selecting a jury is expected to take several months. The trial itself won't start until closer to summer.

Jurors will be asked to give up a big chunk of their lives.

"In a case that runs weeks and weeks and months and months, the number of folks who can, even if they want to put their life on hold and serve on a jury, is limited," defense attorney Chris Decker said.

That fact complicates finding what's supposed to be a jury of his peers to sit in judgment of James Holmes.

"Judges ask people if they can they can do their work at night and so judges normally try to have a diverse jury but it doesn't always work," defense attorney Dan Recht said.

That and the worldwide publicity generated by the sensational theater shooting case where 12 people were killed prompted Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. to send jury notices to 9,000 people. It's by far the largest jury pool for what's expected to be the longest trial in Colorado history.

"Hardship does select out a number of people," Recht said. "I mean there will be many people and the longer the trial the more people there will be that have economic hardship and can't sit in on a jury for months because their family can't afford for them to be away from their job."

But it won't mean an automatic dismissal. The judge will work to ensure diversity among the 12 jurors and 12 alternates.

"There will be lots of folks who will have legitimate concerns that will just not raise to the level for the judge's satisfaction to say we're going to set you aside," Decker said.

Judge Samour will hold a briefing Tuesday morning in the courtroom that the media will be allowed to attend. Holmes is expected to be there.






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