CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The insanity defense for the admitted gunman in the July 20, 2012, Aurora theater shooting has been almost three years in the making.
Seconds after he was qualified as an expert witness in the trial on Thursday, Dr. William Reid, the psychiatrist who performed the court-ordered mental health exam of James Holmes, gave testimony that seemed to be aimed at debunking that defense.
"My opinion is that whatever he suffered from, it did not prevent him from forming the intent and knowing what he was doing and the consequences of what he was doing," Reid said.
Instantly after that statement, two Arapahoe County District attorneys rocked back -- George Brauchler in his stance and Rich Orman in his chair.
"Thank you for that, but you jumped a head just a little bit," Brauchler, who was presiding over the direct examination, told Reid. "That's OK. I just wanted to make sure that we understand the statute that Colorado applies."
Daniel King, one of the lead defense attorneys for Holmes, the admitted gunman in an attack that left 12 dead and 70 others injured, immediately objected to Reid's testimony. A long sidebar with District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr. ensued.
FOX31 Denver reporter Justin Joseph, a former attorney, provided an explanation for the defense's swift objection.
Defense scrambles to bench after state Dr. gives expert opinion Holmes was sane without proper foundation. #Theatershooting
— justinjoseph (@justinjoseph) May 28, 2015
After taking a lunch break to review the defense's objections, Samour revealed King had not only made a motion to strike Reid's comments, but had also made a motion for a mistrial. Samour overruled both of those objections, saying Reid's comments did not violate any of the court's orders.
However, Samour did provide another instruction to the jury on the definition of legal insanity after the lunch break
After he dismissed the jury for lunch, Samour said he would "think about" the discussion the prosecution and defense had at the bench and issue a ruling after the break.
Specifically, Samour said, someone who is legally insane must be incapable of determining right from wrong and incapable of forming a culpable mental state at the time of the commission of a crime.
Click here to watch Thursday's continuing testimony by Reid on the mental evaluation he performed on Holmes.