CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — As the chaos of a shooting at a packed movie theater continued to unfold outside, James Holmes sat in a sterile police interview room, toying with staples, staring at walls and playing with paper bags put on his hands to preserve gunshot residue.
Holmes’ defense attorneys on Wednesday began showing a four-hour video of his bizarre, post-shooting behavior as they try to convince jurors he was legally insane when he killed 12 people and injured 70 more in during a midnight movie premiere.
They say the video of Holmes in a ripped T-shirt and boxers with fiery orange hair is proof he was in the grips of a psychotic episode during the July 20, 2012 attack.
The video opens with Holmes fiddling with items on a table and picking at an electrical socket with a staple before a police officer tells him to stop. It’s about 5 a.m., five hours after he opened fire on the theater.
The footage is mostly silent except for the eerie crackle of police radios still dispatching officers to the theater and a bomb squad to Holmes’ apartment, which he had rigged into an explosive booby trap. At one point, while Holmes sits motionless, the dispatchers can be heard sending officers to a mandatory debriefing with a police psychologist.
But if Holmes can hear the faint noise, he seems oblivious. He inquires about the bags place officers place over his hands to preserve gunshot residue.
“What do you think it’s for?” an officer asks him.
“Popcorn,” he replies, flatly.
He then plays with the paper bags on his hands as if they were puppets, although prosecutors have suggested that he was tapping out the drum beat of the techno music he had been listening to when he took aim at moviegoers.
Defense attorneys have spent nearly a week calling deputies, jail nurses and doctors who have observed Holmes’ odd behavior months and weeks after the shooting, but the video was the most substantial piece of evidence they have shown that gives insight into his demeanor immediately following the attack.
Prosecutors, who say he was sane and are seeking the death penalty, have focused on other elements of the footage, such as Holmes’ ability to easily and accurately answer an officer’s questions about his age and address, height and weight.
Soon after the officer leaves the room, Holmes appears to lean his head against a wall and fall asleep.
MAYPORT NAVAL STATION, Fla. (AP) — A submarine sailor has pleaded guilty to illegally videotaping female officers in the vessel’s shower area, and has been sentenced to 10 months in a Navy brig.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Secrest pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he made the video and lied to investigators. He also received a bad conduct discharge and a reduction in rank.
Secrest is among seven sailors charged in a case that has disrupted the Navy’s integration of women into its submarine force. The women in the videos were among the first to serve on subs.
Military prosecutors say Secrest in 2014 used the camera on his cellphone to take a video of the officers.
Secrest is the sixth sailor tried in the case, and the fifth to be found guilty.
CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court has sentenced three people involved in a racy music video to one year in prison with labor for “inciting debauchery.”
The music video, titled “Hands Off,” contains scantily-clad dancing and shaking but no nudity. Reda al-Fouly, the woman dancing in the low-budget video, was arrested last month along with the clip’s cameraman after it went viral on social media.
Wael el-Sekedi, the third person sentenced in the case, is believed to have fled the country after some social media users called the video scandalous, according to the prosecutor.
The three were sentenced on Sunday.
The original clip on YouTube has been viewed nearly 1.9 million times.
NEW YORK (AP) — Two Muslim filmmakers have filed a lawsuit against the operator of New York subways claiming the agency rejected their advertisements under a rule that prohibits disputed political views. They argue the ads have nothing to do with politics and should not be banned.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the filmmakers, Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah, claim the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is violating their First Amendment right to free speech.
The two created the advertisements to help promote their 2013 film, “The Muslims Are Coming.” They say the overall message of both the ads and the film is “that American Muslims are ordinary people.”
Farsad and Obeidallah said they paid the MTA nearly $15,000 to run the ads, which they were told would be put up in 140 subway stations in April. When the ads didn’t go up on the scheduled date, they called the MTA but didn’t hear back for several days — until they were told the ads would violate a policy that went into effect in the interim, which bans ads that are “political in nature.”
Glenn Katon, their attorney with the civil rights group Muslim Advocates, said the two “had a constitutional right to post the ads under the old policy.” He claims the MTA “reneged on the deal” and now wants a federal judge to order the agency to put up the advertisements. The two are not challenging the MTA’s ability to enact policies, but instead are arguing that their advertisements are not political and do not violate the policy.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency had not yet been served with the lawsuit but that it was pleased that a judge upheld its new policy last week. In a recent court filing, the MTA’s director of real estate said he had determined the ads violated the policy because they “prominently or predominantly advocate or express a political message.”
The ads include, among others, the phrases: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes” and “Muslims! They invented coffee, the toothbrush and algebra … Oh wait, sorry about the algebra. That’s a year of class you’ll never get back.”
“It’s comedic,” Obeidallah said of the MTA’s determination. “What’s political about saying ‘Muslims like frittatas’ or have great frittata recipes?”
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican pet store has been temporarily closed and two employees are under investigation by prosecutors after a video surfaced of them slapping Chihuahua dogs repeatedly to “welcome” them to the store.
The Maskota pet store chain said Wednesday that it had identified the two employees from the video and filed criminal complaints against them. It said their behavior violated the chain’s commitment to animal welfare.
In the video, the two take turns holding up Chihuahuas by the scruffs of their necks and repeatedly slapping, shaking and kneeing them.
The prosecutor’s office in the north-central state of Hidalgo said it is investigating the incident as a property damage complaint.
It is unclear if Hidalgo has animal protection laws that might carry more serious penalties.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is launching a mobile video service this summer that would show sports, concerts and other types of content.
The country’s largest wireless provider teased a few details of its upcoming offerings Tuesday while announcing it had completed its $4.4 billion purchase of AOL Inc. The deal is designed to help Verizon Communications Inc. expand in mobile video and advertising as more hours are spent watching video, reading and shopping on phones and tablets.
Viewers have increasing options for online video services, including Dish’s Sling TV and HBO Now.
Verizon’s mobile video service will work on competitors’ networks as well as on Wi-Fi and will include ad-supported data, says Verizon executive vice president Marni Walden. That could mean an advertiser pays for some of the data required by the video service.