Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:02 am

Shooting suspect in court with orange-red hair

By AP Staff

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) -- His hair dyed orange-red and a dazed look on his face, the man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage at the opening of the new Batman movie appeared Monday in court for the first time.

An unshaven, handcuffed James Holmes, 24, sat in maroon jailhouse jumpsuit as the judge advised him of the case. Holmes sat motionless, his eyes appearing tired and drooping.

At one point, he closed his eyes as the judge spoke. It wasn't immediately known if Holmes was on medication. Authorities have said he is being held in isolation at the jail.

Police say Holmes, clad in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and handguns opened fire at the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.

He was arrested shortly after the Friday shooting. He is refusing to cooperate, authorities say. They said it could take months to learn what prompted the attack on the moviegoers.

Holmes was brought over from the Arapahoe County detention facility and walked into the courtroom with attorneys and others.

He sat down in a jury box, seated next to one of his attorneys. His entrance was barely noticeable but relatives of shooting victims leaned forward in their seats to catch their first glimpse of him.

Some stared at him the entire hearing, including Tom Teves, the father of Alex Teves, who was killed in the shooting. Two women held hands tightly, one shaking her head.

After the hearing, prosecutor Carol Chambers said that "at this point, everyone is interested in a fair trial with a just outcome for everybody involved."

Chambers earlier Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.

Holmes is expected to be formally charged next Monday. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and he could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.

Holmes has been assigned a public defender.

Security at the hearing was tight. Uniformed sheriff's deputies were stationed outside, and deputies were positioned on the roofs of both court buildings at the Arapahoe County Justice Center.

Police have said Holmes began buying guns at Denver-area stores nearly two months before Friday's shooting and that he received at least 50 packages in four months at his home and at school.

Holmes' apartment was filled with trip wires, explosive devices and unknown liquids, requiring police, FBI officials and bomb squad technicians to evacuate surrounding buildings while spending most of Saturday disabling the booby traps.

Investigators found a Batman mask inside Holmes' apartment after they finished clearing the home, a law enforcement official close to the investigation said Sunday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

Officials at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus were looking into whether Holmes used his position in a graduate program to collect hazardous materials, but that disclosure was one of the few it has made three days after the massacre. It remained unclear whether Holmes' professors and other students at his 35-student Ph.D. program noticed anything unusual about his behavior.

His reasons for quitting the program in June also remained a mystery. Holmes recently took an intense oral exam that marks the end of the first year. University officials would not say if he passed, citing privacy concerns.

Amid the continuing investigation of Holmes and his background, Sunday was a day for healing and remembrance in Aurora, with the community holding a prayer vigil and President Barack Obama arriving to visit with families of the victims.

Obama said he told the families that "all of America and much of the world is thinking about them." He met with them at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, which treated 23 of the people injured in the mass shooting; 10 remain there, seven hurt critically.

Congregations across Colorado prayed for the shooting victims and their relatives. Elderly churchgoers at an aging Presbyterian church within walking distance near Holmes' apartment joined in prayer, though none had ever met him.

Several thousand gathered for healing at the vigil Sunday night.

"You're not alone, and you will get through it," said the Rev. Kenneth Berve, pastor at Grant Avenue United Methodist Church and a witness to Friday's horrors. "We can't let fear and anger take control of us."

Meanwhile, the owner of a gun range told the AP that Holmes applied to join the club last month but never became a member because of his behavior and a "bizarre" message on his voicemail.

Holmes emailed an application to join the Lead Valley Range in Byers on June 25 in which he said he was not a user of illegal drugs or a convicted felon, said owner Glenn Rotkovich. When Rotkovich called to invite him to a mandatory orientation the following week, Rotkovich said he heard a message on Holmes' voicemail that was "bizarre - guttural, freakish at best."

Rotkovich left two other messages but eventually told his staff to watch out for Holmes at the July 1 orientation and not to accept him into the club, Rotkovich said.

The pastor for the suspect's family recalled a shy boy who was driven to succeed academically.

"He wasn't an extrovert at all. If there was any conversation, it would be because I initiated it, not because he did," said Jerald Borgie, senior pastor of Penasquitos Lutheran Church. Borgie said he never saw the suspect mingle with others his age at church. He last spoke with Holmes about six years ago.

"He had some goals. He wanted to succeed, he wanted to go out, and he wanted to be the best," Borgie said. "He took pride in his academic abilities. A good student. He didn't brag about it."

During the attack early Friday, Holmes allegedly set off gas canisters and used a semiautomatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol to open fire on theater-goers, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said.

Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores in the past two months. He recently bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.

The gunman's semiautomatic assault rifle jammed during the attack, forcing him to switch to another gun with less firepower, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press. That malfunction and weapons switch might have saved some lives.

Oates said a 100-round ammunition drum was found in the theater, but he said he didn't know whether it jammed or emptied.

The shooting was the worst in the U.S. since the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas. An Army psychiatrist was charged with killing 13 soldiers and civilians and wounding more than two dozen others.

Associated Press writers Kristen Wyatt and Thomas Peipert in Aurora; Dan Elliott, Gillian Flaccus and Colleen Slevin in Denver; and Alicia A. Caldwell, Eileen Sullivan and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.


Additional information:
Holmes’ Gun Club Membership Rejected Over ‘Bizarre’ Behavior

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  1. amazedhumanComment by amazedhuman
    July 23, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    The guy appears to be completely drugged. You have got to wonder what that’s all about.

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    • wa3flrComment by wa3flr
      July 23, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

      It is like something out of the Jason Bourne movies! What the heck it going on here?

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  2. 49bobComment by 49bob
    July 23, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    The article says Holmes was a Lutheran. I am a Lutheran. The difference between this incident and incidents involving Muslims is that if Holmes is tried, found guilty and sentenced to death, which is what he deserves if found guilty, I as a Lutheran would pull the switch on him myself and not waste a breathe in his defense. I have not seen that in the Muslim community.

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  3. mdsa52Comment by Michael Salop
    July 23, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

    Just put him down like a mad dog. Which he is anyway.

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (10 votes cast)
  4. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    July 23, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    This guy will be raped repeatedly and most likely killed by inmates in prison – giving true justice. This cockroach should be immediately executed, but taxpayers will now feed and house this SOB and will foot the legal costs, which in spite of his obvious guilt will be focus of media for months. Only in America!

    The problem is the media attention given to these crazed killers. I think they are looking for fame and wanting to see their names in headlines. Best thing for media to do is to keep these killers out of media focus and focus instead on the victims. Too many copycat crazies around.

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    • MorganComment by Morgan
      July 23, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

      It’s hard for me as a Christian to go along with that kind of thinking even though I understand it. I’m all for capital punishment, but under our law, the man does qualify for his day in court.

      I sure agree though, that the media attention this man is getting is totally wrong. From what I’ve seen all the major news networks have been covering this story with all their “experts” in mental health etc.

      I say give it a rest, and don’t give this man any more attention.

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  5. westytxComment by westytx
    July 23, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    That picture reveals the POSTER CHILD for the NRA. Pick a title:

    “Defend your rights for an American to buy legal assault weapons!”

    “Don’t let Congress forbid American ammunition companies to sell quantites of magazines with massive rounds – on internet or in person without questions asked.”

    “Your 2nd Amendment Rights (no, not the one in the Bill of Rights, but the one WE redefined for our Forefathers) is as risk!”

    “Guns don’t kill people….people with massive rounds of ammoniton do.”

    “If everyone in that audience was carrying a weapon, I would be dead today – and we would all know how many people can die in a circle firing squad.”

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 23, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      Bombs are banned. And guess who was the only one who had bombs? Hint hint the law breaker! Comprende?

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    • voreasonComment by voreason
      July 23, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      West whatever, you are a knuckle dragging idiot, lets get that out of the way. News flash it is against the law to kill innocent people period – so hows that working? The founding fathers wrote the 2nd not for hunting but to insure that “we the people” could rise up against an unjust government. To that end gun type and ownership are our Right. The word assault weapon is just assigned by liberal (Marxist) media to rally the uninformed such as yourself. The rifle in question is an m4 carbine and in civilian form is NOT and automatic weapon and is in fact the most popular rifle sold to Americans today. Oh, and how do you know what would have happened if “everyone in the place” had a gun? I carry every day and have never removed it from my holster except to put it away. One more thing: this used to be a free country and with freedom come risk many things can happen bad or good. For folks like yourself find someplace that makes you happy and leave us freedom loving people alone.

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      July 23, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      “If everyone had a gun”?? I would submit that this is far from possible but if everyone that wanted to carry was in fact carrying, this thing wouldn’t have gone down.



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    • BrokerbobComment by Brokerbob
      July 23, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

      65,000,000 Gun Owners didn’t kill anyone Thursday Nite
      Australian Gun Law Update
      Here’s a thought to warm some of your hearts….
      From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia
      Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real
      figures from Down Under.
      It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were
      forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own
      government, a program costing Australia taxpayersmore than $500 million dollars.
      The first year results are now in:
      Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
      Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
      Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
      In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that
      while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)

      While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically
      upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
      There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.
      Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was
      expended in ‘successfully ridding Australian society of guns….’ You won’t see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or
      members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.
      The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control
      laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
      Take note Americans, before it’s too late!
      Will you be one of the sheeple to turn yours in?
      WHY? You will need it.


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    • Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
      July 23, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

      Ever heard the famous Thomas Jefferson Quote?

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

      If you have heard it, it’s obvious that you didn’t understand what it meant.

      I have questions………where did someone whose main method of support was unemployment get the money to purchase full body armor which some law enforcement people estimate cost approximately twenty THOUSAND dollars, not to mention the 3 or 4 rather sophisticated weapons and a gigantic amount of ammunition…………..where did he get the smoke bombs as well. Why did he meekly surrender in the parking lot? Most of these nut jobs are shot by the cops or eat their own guns. This whole thing makes no sense at all UNLESS……the same people who drummed up that lovely little Fast and Furious debacle have been doing some extra planning.

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    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      July 23, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

      You make it sound like you were in that theater in Aurora.
      Were you?

      You talk as though you would ban all guns and ammunition.
      You know … you were in a theater where all guns were already banned. How did that work out for you, Bub?

      If Holmes couldn’t have obtained any guns because you managed to get some laws passed, he would quite likely have used those explosives he likes so much.

      How would that have compared with your imagined circular firing squad, Bub?

      I have a feeling you should just choose to stay at home from now on. Everywhere is too dangerous for gurlie-men like you …

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    • godsgirlComment by godsgirl
      July 24, 2012 @ 8:14 am

      Shouldn’t all bomb making websites be removed immediately from the internet and shouldn’t all books with references to bomb making be burned? Anyone who has accessed any of those sites should be immediately investigated by the FBI, shouldn’t they?
      Wouldn’t that be prudent, to attempt to prevent further such violence?

      Murderers will always find a way to kill, and crooks can always get weapons.

      Evil will always abound on this earth. In our society, many want to blur the boundaries of decency and create an all inclusive society where each individual can define his/her boundaries, without fear of reprisal or correction. It seems as though increased random violence has increased, as society attempts to expand the boundaries of acceptable behaviors. Could it be, that as each individual lives life the way they see fit, without regard the impact on others, we will see more and more of these events?

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  6. Dustin W. TauntonComment by Dustin W. Taunton
    July 23, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    Aside from the many elements of this Smoke and Mirrors fiasco that is infiltrating every news agency 24/7 and will for several weeks,is the fact that in my mind he is no longer a suspect.How can they call him a suspect?If I walk down the street nekkid and am arrested for public nudity, am I a suspect? No Im a perpetrator.Ok pet peev out of the way. Why are so many countries after our second amendment rights? It’s really simple. They know our military is now a joke. They know our rules of engagement. They can see by our immigration enforcement that our leaders do not care about our safety. They care about votes. They know that if they tried to infiltrate our Country that they would face several million armed citizens. Best way to dis arm us is with our own Government and the backing of sheeple who actually believe that our government has our best interest at heart, then they can safely infiltrate with the least amount of casualties. Is it surprising that this has happened on the eve of the UN gun treaty? Question to ponder; how does a poor college student afford all the weapons armor and ammo that this kid had? THINK ABOUT IT!

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    • cxComment by genesal
      July 23, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

      Yes, and since there is no question it was him and if found guilty, should be in the ground within 3 months. Others will think twice if we actually dealt in JUSTICE.

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    • canada3dayerComment by canada3dayer
      July 24, 2012 @ 2:15 am

      per our legal system, he is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. that’s why he’s referred to as “alleged” and “suspect” until after the trial and verdict.

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  7. awkingsleyComment by awkingsley
    July 23, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    The moral of this story is that all theater goers should be armed.

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      July 23, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      AMEN and until they are screened with metal detectors, I will be.

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  8. PubliusComment by Publius
    July 23, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    The DA is “considering” the death penalty…what else is appropriate? Also an AR-15 Semi Auto IS NOT AN ASSAULT WEAPON…it does not have select fire FULL AUTO…if it jammed & he switched to a shotgun..he did not choose a less effective firearm in that theatre…the AR-15 fires ONE .223 cal. rnd with each pull of the trigger…the shotgun can fire up to 12 .30 cal rnds with each pull of the trigger…faster firing than a machine gun..the man is nuts…NO GUN LAW WOULD HAVE STOPPED HIM OR ANY OTHER NUTJOB…Law abiding citizens were not allowed their concealed carry handguns in this theatre where NO GUNS WERE ALLOWED…GUN CONTROL MAKES A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR CRIMINALS…Nice timing of this tragedy right before the UN small arms treaty debacle (headed up by Iran, Obama & Hillary) Makes one wonder…Our hearts go out to the victims families. More liberals feeding off the blood of innocents solves nothing,,,they want to disarm us all, so that we can also be sheep led to slaughter.

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  9. Pingback: Colorado Batman shooting shows obvious signs of being staged - Page 5 - ALIPAC

  10. Fred PalombiComment by Fred Palombi
    July 23, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    The Fog Of War – A Lack Of Certainty

    Clausewitz wrote about it as “The Fog Of War”. SunTzu wrote about it as “not knowing yourself or the enemy”. It is a lack of certainty. It comes from a lack of information about what is actually
    at hand. Without information, accurate decisions are very difficult to make. What happens is you get a bunch of educated guesses and then a tentative decision based on those guesses.

    That is why military planners spend more on gathering intell than on the weapons to exploit that intell. How does that play out for the individual operator?

    I wrote an email to a friend recently about this topic and how it plays out in events like what happened in Aurora. Quite simply, if one is denied the suitable intell to make a decision, no decision will tend to be made. And at such a time, unless there is an ingrained, and trained default response, the subject will liklely freeze in place…as if he is on pause waiting for more information.

    Put aside the 4S issues of a midnight movie is a questionable hood and follow. Think of the circumstances there. Sitting in the dark, focused on the screen. Loud movie sounds all around.

    Then you hear shooting. Information! Is it the movie? You think it is. People now screaming…what scared them from the movie…you weren’t scared by the scene. Smoke in the theatre. What is this? Gun shots but not from the movie. Where are they coming from? People screaming and running.

    Can you tell what is going on? Can you see the gunman through the smoke? How close is he? Too far to reach? Or is he close enough to touch? Unlikely as the gunshots were not close to you otherwise you would have noticed them sooner. The exit is clogged with people, the smoke makes
    visibility impossible, and you cannot tell where the shots are coming from yet.

    Do you understand the lack of certainty affecting actions? So your work now involves two things.

    One is making sure that you have as much intell as possible, of an actionable sort, given the circumstances. You won’t get alot, but the art of determining what is happening from bits and pieces of information is an essential one. The same event as Aurora, but in a well lit threatre where someone is giving a speech makes for a different set of information and certainty of decision does it not? Darkness and the intentional self-removal from reality called for in a movie contributed to the situation.

    Two is to have a default response in the event that you have no actionable intell. What that default response should be I cannot say…but to have neither actionable intell nor default response will lead to confusion and probably inaction, which could be a fatal thing.

    One of our members at Warrior Talk called it “Efficiency in Ambiguity”. Excellent phrase! So how do we obtain efficiency in ambiguity? I think a number of things need to be in place for that.

    Moral Certainty – “What I am about to do is the right thing and I need to do it right now”. That comes from clarity of mission and pure focus brought on by a clear decision based on what has been observed. And that impending action is executed without getting clearance or permission from anyone.

    That is a rare thing indeed today in police, military, and civilian worlds. I suspect that had the theatre been filled with “average gun guys”, or “average (Unarmed) off duty police”, the outcome would not have been much different. And lets not forget the events of Fort Hood. Thirteen died there, and they were soldiers.

    The factor of “being taken by surprise” is of course an important consideration, but I think there is more going on. Very few people, in any walk of life, see themselves as fighters any more…and I suspect that includes cops and soldiers. You guys in the service correct me if I am wrong,
    but not everyone has the mindset of a Ranger or a Force Recon dude do they? And I can tell you from quite personal, and distasteful, experience that fighters are quite rare in police work.

    As well, since all three groups today get beaten over brow and genitals with the fear of liability, the desire to close with and destroy anything, especially if there is any ambiguity over the events, or one has not received official sanction to go and do that directly by a superior, is rare as well.

    Actual Capability – What do we need? To be able to run up to another man, like Holmes, and shoot him in the face without any deleterious emotions interrupting us. Unless we have personal experience, or train in killing regularly, we will not succeed in these events. And by that I mean meaningful training as is seen in strenuos force on force, hunting large game, or prior personal experience in combat of some sort where one has killed an enemy close enough to know that it was his bullet or his blade that did it. Even the ambiguos gun-pop phrases of “self defense”, “shooting to stop”, etc., while fine for court, will lead to an incorrect mindset.

    From Sun Tsu – “If officers are unaccustomed to rigorous [training] they will be worried and hesitant in battle; if generals are not thoroughly trained they will be inwardly quail when they face the enemy.”

    Posted by Gabe Suarez on 07/23/2012 in CURRENT EVENTS EDITORIAL | Permalink

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      July 23, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

      An armed citizen or a few might have made a difference in that theater. It is insane to think that a good guy with a gun would be no better off than a screaming teenager with popcorn and a cellphone. BTW The soldiers at Hood were unarmed. Military bases are good places to kill a bunch innocent people if you are a bad guy with a gun. Sporting events, Hospitals, Churches, Schools and Post Offices can be shooting galleries for this kind of animal. Where I live, there would have probably been between 2 and 10 guns in that theater and one of us would have put a hole in the guy. Emotions, fear; you bet but that is one of the reasons for repeating firearms.

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  11. jen68Comment by jen68
    July 23, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

    My understanding is that he was drugged because he was out of control while he was locked up

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  12. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    July 23, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    Shooting suspect … ?
    Alleged to have shot … ?
    There is no mystery about who committed this act.

    We aren’t discussing a potential innocent, here.
    When guilt is an obvious and undeniable fact, there is no reason to delay trial and punishment.

    And, it really, really, really doesn’t matter WHY he did it. Whether it was anger, drug-induced, or insanity … he will never again be fit for a place in society.

    Best to ‘delete’ him, now.

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      July 23, 2012 @ 10:30 pm


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  13. mguy04Comment by mguy04
    July 24, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    Why are we willing to allow, and even encourage, the rape and sexual abuse of prisoners by OTHER PRISONERS?

    Is that the purpose of our penal system – to permit the forceable, unwanted penile introduction into a prisoner?

    I thought ‘penal’ meant ‘penance’!

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    • colt1911Comment by colt1911
      July 24, 2012 @ 10:15 am

      “We”? If left up to me, he would be hanged Sunday after church on the courthouse square….Trial Saturday morning of course.

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