Fifth Juror Dismissed by Judge in James Holmes Theater Shooting Trial

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Jack Chesnutt

A fifth juror in the James Holmes murder trial was dismissed Wednesday after she told the judge she recognized one of the witnesses.

It turned out the witness was the mother of a child who attended the Arapahoe County middle school where the juror works. The juror said she remembered that the child had been in therapy because of the July 2012 shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.

The defense team had first asked Judge Carlos Samour to release Juror 276, a school attendance clerk, after she first informed the court on May 6 that she might know one of the witnesses, but couldn't exactly place that person.

Holmes, the admitted theater gunman, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The fifth juror's release comes after another juror was dismissed Monday after her brother-in-law was shot in an armed robbery. Last week, three other jurors were let go because they were talking about the case outside of court.

The judge has repeatedly told jurors not to read news reports or material on social media about the trial and not to discuss the case among themselves or with others.

The dismissal now leaves 19 people on the trial’s panel: 12 jurors and seven alternates. Only the judge and the lawyers know which of them are the actual jurors. They will be revealed when closing statements are done and the case goes to the jury.