Trial of Colorado theater gunman James Holmes: Opening statements Monday – Los Angeles Times

Eirz Scott does not plan to attend James Holmes’ trial unless her son, Jarell Brooks, is called to testify. But she knows how she wants the lengthy legal proceeding to end.

A bullet tore a chunk out of her boy’s thigh while he was helping a young family escape from the gunman on that awful summer night. Brooks is 22 now, attending college. He wants to be an attorney. Not a hero. Not a victim. He wants to move on.

Holmes, 27, has been charged with 166 counts in the largest mass shooting on American soil, a 2012 rampage in a suburban Denver theater that killed 12 moviegoers and injured 70, Brooks among them.

Opening statements in Holmes’ trial are scheduled to begin Monday, nearly three years after the massacre. It is way too soon for some victims, who must brace themselves to relive the horror, to face their attacker across a crowded courtroom. In some ways, though, it can’t come soon enough. They want the pain to end. They want justice.

“I hope he gets the maximum penalty that is necessary for him,” Scott said. When asked if she meant that Holmes should die by lethal injection, she thought for just a moment before responding. “I would have to say yes.”

Tom Teves’ son Alex, 24, had just earned his master’s degree in counseling psychology when he was killed shielding his girlfriend from the hail of bullets in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Today, Alex’s ashes are in an urn in his parents’ home. On Monday, Teves will be in the courtroom.

But the grieving father refuses to be interviewed for any story that includes the name and likeness of the man who killed his son. He and his wife, Caren, sent a letter last week to 150 media executives — including editors at the Los Angeles Times — asking them to change the way mass murders are covered.

“Remove or limit the name and likeness of the shooter, except for initial identification and when the alleged assailant is still at large,” the Teveses wrote in a letter signed by family members and victims from what they describe as “nine of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.” “Elevate the names and likeness of all victims killed.”

Anita Busch is part of the Teveses’ “No Notoriety” campaign. Her cousin, Micayla C. Medek, died in Theater 9 of the Century 16 multiplex on July 20, 2012, during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Medek was 23. She was a “sandwich artist” at Subway. She loved Hello Kitty and was saving money to travel to India.

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