COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The prosecution has started to lay out its case against the person accused of killing five people and injuring others at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
The defendant appeared in court Wednesday, visibly shaken during a preliminary hearing.
Anderson Lee Aldrich appeared for the preliminary hearing with much shorter hair and clean shaven. Prosecutors are trying to establish probable cause for the more than 300 charges filed against Aldrich in the mass shooting.
“It is not a trial,” FOX31 legal analyst Christopher Decker said of the purpose of a preliminary hearing. “It is more of a screening device to insure that all of the charges that have been brought against the defendant — that there is probable cause to believe that he (they) committed those crimes.”
Detectives recount night of Club Q shooting
On the stand Wednesday, Colorado Springs Police detectives recounted how people were screaming at Club Q and how Aldrich was wearing a ballistic vest with magazine holders when subdued.
Aldrich could be seen for a while fidgeting nervously with their back to the public in the courtroom, visibly crying at another point.
Another officer testified Aldrich had at times used a derogatory word to describe people in the LGBTQ community and also used a common racial slur against Black people.
Prosecutors are also trying to enhance some of the charges by proving hate crimes occurred.
“They will have to provide some evidence that this defendant acted even in part on motive and bias against of enumerated protected classes,” Decker added.
A detective described evidence photos presented in court and showed a handwritten note in Aldrich’s possession, which read in part: “Relieve me of my own fate I’m drowning in my own wake.”
Another photo showed a hand-drawn map of Club Q.
Defense: Aldrich on medication
Defense attorneys showed medications Aldrich was taking for issues including schizophrenia, anxiety, and bipolar symptoms.
Their attorney said their mother described Aldrich as being someone with “special needs.”
Among people in the courtroom on Wednesday was Richard Fierro, who helped take down the shooter.
This preliminary hearing is expected to last three days.