Colorado shooting: James Holmes claims he can't remember killings
James Holmes has reportedly claimed he does not know why he is in prison as he awaits trial accused of killing 12 people in a massacre in a Colorado theatre.
The 24-year-old repeatedly asked prison guards "Why am I here?" and said he had no recollection of the killings during a midnight premiere of the new Batman film, according to the New York Daily News.
Holmes, a former neuroscience PhD student, also apparently complained about the food in the Arapahoe County Detention Centre in Colorado, where he is being held in solitary confinement to protect him from possible vigilante justice by other inmates.
“He’s claiming his belly hurts him,” the prison employee said. “He complained once that he didn’t like the food . . . The guy killed 12 people, and he’s upset that he’s not getting a four-star meal?”
The alleged gunman, who told police he was the Joker after his arrest outside the cinema last Friday, reportedly only picks at his food and on some days refuses to eat altogether.
He is kept in solitary for 23 hours a day, and let out for only a single hour's exercise. When out of his cell authorities have insisted he wear a stab-proof vest.
Holmes's claims of amnesia follow a bizarre court appearance on Monday, where the suspect appeared groggy and confused. At one point he had to be nudged by his defence lawyer to stand up as the judge entered the courtroom.
The prison employee said that staff and other inmates were convinced that Holmes was putting on an act as a build up to an eventual court defence.
“He needs to save his act for the jury because no one here is buying it,” they told the New York Daily News. “Everyone is convinced he is faking it.”
The alleged shooter reportedly mailed a notebook to a professor at the University of Colorado, where he had been a doctoral student before dropping out, containing sketches of a massacre.
The book was found by chance in a mail room at the university several days after the killings at the Century 16 multiplex 16 cinema in Aurora, Colorado.