The search is on for an impartial jury to decide the fate of Holmes, who’s charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the Aurora movie theater attack. Twelve jurors and 12 alternates will be chosen from a pool of 9,000.
Prosecutors want Holmes, now 27, to face the death penalty.
Holmes admits he committed the July 20, 2012, attack at the Century movie theater, but says he was having a “psychotic episode,” pleading guilty by reason of insanity.
MaryEllen Hansen’s niece, Ashley Moser, was paralyzed and suffered a miscarriage in the shooting, and her daughter Veronica, 6, died. Hansen believes a plea deal would spare survivors and families from an ordeal that could drag out for years.
“I would like to see him locked up with no possibility of parole, ever,” Hansen said.
“He did monstrous things. Therefore, he is a monster.”
Holmes’ parents, Robert and Arlene Holmes, released a statement in December pleading for their son’s life.
“He is not a monster,” the statement reads. “He is a human being gripped by severe mental illness.”