Aurora theater shooting notebook details aired for 1st time at trial

Aurora Theater Shooting
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NOTE: All 30-plus minutes of notebook testimony given by Sgt. Fyles can be found below

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – A notebook admitted into evidence on Tuesday was the Aurora theater shooting jurors’ long-awaited first look into the documented mind of the defendant, James Holmes.

The notebook was believed to be an important piece of evidence for both the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution wants it to demonstrate that Holmes extensively planned the attack on July 20, 2012, that left 12 dead and 70 injured.  While the defense hopes it will give examples of mental illness to support their not guilty by reason of insanity plea.

Police Detective Sgt. Matthew Fyles was called to the stand on day 18 of the trial to present to the jury selected pages of the notebook.

“Buy guns, rifles, chemicals and research mental illness,” was a list of things written in the notebook.

It was one of several passages cited by the prosecution in an effort to demonstrate James Holmes, the admitted gunman in the attack, had not only been planning mass murder, but also his insanity plea.

“The obsession to kill since I was a kid, with age, became more and more realistic,” the notebook said according to Sgt. Fyles.

RELATED: Watch Tuesday’s testimony in its entirety

The package containing the notebook was addressed to Dr. Lynne Fenton, the shooter’s University of Colorado psychiatrist. It also included $400 worth of burned $20 bills.

The notebook included detailed plans and different options of attack, which the shooter listed pros and cons for the options he came up with. These included choosing the location of the attack.

An airport was ruled out because of it’s connection with terrorism.

“Terrorism is not the message,” a passage read. “The message is, there is no message.”

Fyles went on to explain that the notebook also showed different options of which theater to hit.  These pages explained in detail the size, exit strategy and other details of numerous theaters inside the Century 16 location.

The shooter also proved to be aware that the Aurora Police Department was very close to that theater and documented their estimated response time at three minutes.

The defense also read several nonsensical passages and equations written in the notebook from multiple pages.

“So that’s my mind. It’s broken. I tried to fix it. Using something that’s broken to fix itself was insurmountable.”

Additionally Sgt. Fyles read several symptoms listed in the notebook, catatonia, excessive fatigue, brief periods where actions were in “hyper speed.”

Near the end of the notebook, this note referenced the movie, “Embraced the hatred. The Dark Knight Rises.”

Each juror was handed a printed copy of the notebook and they were allowed to read it for a little over 10 minutes, before hanging them back.

The jurors will receive the notebook back during their deliberations.

District Court Judge Carlos Samour Jr.  had not yet issued a ruling whether the media will receive copies of the notebook.

RELATED: Complete, in-depth coverage of the theater trial

Several victims testified on Tuesday including the then girl friend of deceased A.J. Boik.  Lasamoa Cross recalled holding the head of her boyfriend and attempting to drag him out of the theater to safety.  After realizes he was unresponsive she said she ran out of the theater.

Zackary Golditch, a member of the audience in adjoining Theater 8 audience also took the stand, with his 911 call also being played for the jurors. Golditch was one of two people who were injured from that theater.

Brooke Cowden, who’s father Gordon Cowden was killed, testified on Tuesday as well.  She recalled her father saying “I love you” just before he died.

Another friend of Alex Sullivan, Jacqueline Fry, sobbed in court proceedings when she recalled switching seats prior to the shooting that killed her friend.

Witness testimony will continue throughout the week, as more psychologists and medical professionals are expected to take the stand to discuss Holmes’ state of mind during the July 20 attack.

RELATED: Aurora theater shooting victims remembered

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