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In the jury’s hands: Scenes from closing arguments

Carol McKinley, CU News Corps

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1. George Brauchler pacing like a prize fighter before his closing remarks, looking over at the crowded victims’ families side.

2. James Holmes, who had his head on his hands during jury instructions while the jury is out, is now staring straight ahead. And, as always, twisting in his chair.

3. Ashley Moser and a woman who looks a lot like her (mom?) lace fingers in a hand hold as soon as the prosecution closing starts. She’s wearing a purple shirt and jeans. As each name of the 12 dead is mentioned, families reach out to touch each other, crying quietly. Some of them have never met until today because they came in from out of town to speak to the court about impact. They are fast friends bound by unspeakable grief.

4. After the disruption during closings at Phase 2, at least half a dozen sheriff’s deputies placed on all sides of the defendant’s family are watching carefully. They are armed, and diligent. Everyone behaves.

5. When Tamara Brady starts her close,we notice some movement on the victims’ families side.  They are getting up one by one and leaving the courtroom.  Only around 5 families are left to listen to the entire defense closing, including victim John Larimer’s parents. Later, they remark “I looked up and everyone was leaving. I said ‘Did we miss a memo?’ ”  Turns out the walk-out was not planned. When closings are over, the ones from inside walk out to join the rest.  Many are hugging in the courthouse halls.

6. Brady mentions that  Bob and Arlene Holmes have been in the courtroom every day and that his life has meaning to them, they look at each other and lock hands. When the attorney finishes, Mrs. Holmes lets out a breath.

7. Reporters who love trials and follow them are quiet. It’s almost like they’re stunned into silence as they ride down the elevator.  It’s a first. 🙂

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Explanatory Multimedia Reporting from CU Boulder Journalism Students
In the jury’s hands: Scenes from closing arguments