Two weeks before a bloody shooting rampage that killed 12 people at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, suspect James Holmes apparently visited the cinema and took photographs of hallways and doors, a police detective testified on Wednesday.
Holmes returned nine days before the massacre, Sgt. Matthew Fyles testified at the the conclusion of a preliminary court hearing, and took pictures of exterior doors.
The photographs were recovered from Holmes' cell phone and go along with months of sales records and descriptions of meticulously prepared booby traps at his home. It all helps illustrate what would appear to be a well-planned attack.
"He didn't care who he killed," prosecutor Karen Pearson told the judge at the conclusion of her case against Holmes, saying he chose his venue carefully to cage his victims. "He intended to kill them all."
The former neuroscience graduate student is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons violations in the July 20 shooting that killed 12 and wounded 58.
Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester said he would rule on Friday whether authorities presented enough evidence during the three-day hearing to proceed to trial.
Defense attorneys, who had been expected to call witnesses and argue a diminished capacity defense, changed their minds during the hearing, attorney Dan King said.
"We have had a change of position," he said. "This is neither the proper venue nor the time to put on a show or present some truncated defense."
After the hearing, some of the victims' relatives asserted that Holmes was too calculating to be afflicted with diminished capacity.
"He's not crazy one bit," Tom Teves told reporters Wednesday. His son Alex, 24, was among those killed.
"He's very, very cold. He's very, very calculated," Teves said of Holmes. "He has a brain set that no one here can understand, and we want to call him crazy because we want to make that feel better in our society.
"But we have to accept the fact there is evil people in our society that enjoy killing any type of living thing. That doesn't make him crazy," Teves said.
Added Jessica Watts, cousin of Jonathan Blunk, also killed in the theater: "It was complete planning. It was competency. It was everything on his part to make sure that this act was carried out from start to finish."
Before wrapping up, prosecutors asked Fyles to display other photos taken from Holmes' phone, including shots of improvised explosives under construction in his kitchen on July 16 and disturbing images of the suspect, his red hair curling out from beneath the black watch cap prosecutors say he wore to the theater.
In one image, he is sticking out his tongue and wearing contact lenses that render his eyes utterly black. In another, he holds a firework that resembles the spherical bombs so prevalent in cartoons. He appears to be whistling in the photo.
The pictures were taken July 19, the same day authorities say Holmes headed to the theater to begin his rampage shortly after midnight on July 20.
Holmes could be seen smiling slightly as the photographs were displayed.
According to hearing testimony, here is what is known about his alleged preparations:
Holmes began buying guns in May, supervisory agent Steve Beggs of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified on Tuesday. Beggs said he built an arsenal of two Glock handguns, an AR-15 rifle, a shotgun and 6,295 rounds of ammunition.