Hearing for James Holmes could end early

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January 9, 2013, 12:27 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Leanne Gregg, Centennial, Colo.) - The hearing to determine if the man accused in the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting should go trial, was scheduled to last all week, but now there's word it could end as early as Wednesday.

James Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire inside the theater last July, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.

When court ended Tuesday, the prosecution said it had one more witness before wrapping up - an Aurora detective - and then the defense is expected to call witnesses, possibly to talk about the suspect's mental health.  

The hearing, now in its third day has revealed dramatic information.   

The echos of the horrifying moments when alleged gunman James Holmes opened fire inside a Colorado movie theater filled the courtroom on Tuesday as prosecutors played dramatic 9-1-1 tapes.  

In one, 30 gunshots could be heard during the 27-second call...   

"It's horrific (talking about hearing the 911 tapes in court) and only because it's how many lives are being shattered at that exact moment," Victim Jessica Watts said.  

On another call, a 13-year-old girl was heard saying that her cousins had been shot and that one was not breathingā€¦the dispatcher trying to walk her through CPR and then desperation as the teen could not hear the instructions.  

Analysts say the calls will make a major impact with a jury.  

"Prosecutors are letting the defense know what they are in for if this case goes to trial," Legal Analyst Scott Robinson said.  

Prosecutors then presented evidence to prove premeditation.  

Investigators detailed how Holmes spent weeks preparing for the attackā€¦Pre-ordering his movie ticket and rigging his apartment with explosives in an effort to draw first responders from the shooting scene.  

"That is a long time to plan to kill people at over 6,000 rounds of ammunition purchased. And the fact that it was done right down the street from the theater," Watts said.  

"The prosecutors have so much evidence of premeditation in this case they don't even know what to do with it all," Robinson said.  

Evidence presented this week will help decide what's next in the case.

A trial with the possibility of the death penalty, or a plea deal that would save the cost of a trial, and avoid the grief of family members re-living the horrible events, again.

Tags: colorado, Centennial, Aurora, The Dark Knight Rises, james holmes, movie theater shooting, Leanne Gregg, pre-trial hearing
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