Mama Speaks-James Holmes Parents Letter

On July 20, 2012, JAMES HOLMES, 27, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, opened fire inside a movie theater during a sold out midnight showing of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises”.  Holmes entered the theater wearing ballistic gear and carrying an assault weapon, three other guns and gas canisters.  He opened fire on the audience, and Police responded to the Century 16 theater 90 seconds after the first call for help. In the parking lot, they found James Holmes (then 24 years old).  Holmes told them he was the Joker, a reference to an earlier Batman movie. The theater itself contained a far more gruesome scene: Twelve moviegoers lay dead and 70 were wounded.

In a court filing last year, Holmes’ attorneys said that the shooter was in “the throes of a psychotic episode when he committed acts that resulted in the tragic loss of life.” Through his attorneys, Holmes has offered to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors, however, have so far refused a plea deal. Last year, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler rejected an agreement, saying that — for Holmes — “justice is death.”

Those killed were Jonathan Blunk, A.J. Boik, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer, Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Alex Sullivan, Alex Teves and Rebecca Wingo.


DECEMER 19, 2014

As the parents of James Holmes, we have spent every moment for more than two years thinking about those who were injured, and the families and friends of the deceased who were killed, in the theater shooting in Aurora. We are always praying for everyone in Aurora. We wish that July 20, 2012, never happened.

Our son pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges associated with these shootings. Defense attorneys for our son first stated in open court in May 2013 that James was diagnosed in Colorado with a serious mental illness. Prior to July 20, 2012, he never harmed anyone and he had no criminal history.

We understand that if our son is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he could go to an institution that provides treatment for the mentally ill for the remainder of his life. This result would prevent any future harm to him and others.

We realize treatment in an institution would be best for our son. We love our son, we have always loved him, and we do not want him to be executed. We also decry the need for a trial. A lengthy trial requires everyone to relive those horrible moments in time, causing additional trauma.

In the criminal justice system, the prosecution and defense can agree to a sentence of life in prison, without parole, in exchange for a guilty plea. If that happened, our son would be in prison the rest of his life, but no one would have to relive those horrible events at a trial the media has permission to televise.

We do not know how many victims of the theater shooting would like to see our son killed. But we are aware of people’s sentiments. We have read postings on the Internet that have likened him to a monster. He is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness.

We believe that the death penalty is morally wrong, especially when the condemned is mentally ill.

We are not alone in our sentiments. The Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights, an international organization of family members of murder victims and family members of the executed, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness formed the “Prevention, Not Execution Project,” aimed at ending the death penalty for people with severe mental illness.

Our family has not given interviews to the media because we do not want coverage of ourselves. We mourn the deaths and the serious injuries and emotional trauma of the others who were in the theater. The focus should be on the injured and their healing.


I sat next to Holmes family when the DA announced the death penalty awhile back in court. Some people were cheering, some people sobbing and some just in shock. I use to think that the death penalty was wrong based on hangings, lynchings back in the 19/20 century that were happening to innocent people due to race.

James Holmes has been forgiven by me personally but he will still have to answer to the people of Colorado for the horrific act that he carefully orchestrated over… the months before shooting plus he boobie trapped a whole block to due more harm. Consequences for actions. DNA has freed many death row inmates but in this case it is crystal clear who did it.

What should the penalty for a person that kills 12 people (one being my friend) and an unborn child plus shoot 59 others with an AR- 15 and a shotgun in a movie theater? Life or Death?

What are we saying as a society if there is anything less than the death penalty?

This trial is just not about a plea, at the core it is going to expose many things: Anti Death Penalty vs Pro Death Penalty, Mental Health advocates vs Non, Gun Control vs Anti Control, then make us seriously take a hard look at public safety and the current legal system/gun laws these issues all will be added to the circus.
Jury selection is begining in a month, 9000 summons to get to 24 people then trial starts in June.

I pray for all the parties involved, including Holmes parents, no one is going to be smiling and happy come stand time or during this trial but my hope is that it will began closure for the many victims families and survivors still hurting. This will be the 3rd Holidays without loves ones lost, it’s painful for both sides I would imagine. Vengeance is the Lords and we will just have to ride this out on the national stage, unfortunately. Holmes like us all have choices and his hurt many. If Holmes wanted life he should have taken others. If Holmes wants to avoid the trial then just plead guilty, stop the upcoming trial, save taxpayers, victims, survivors more harm by having to re-live it again in a lengthy trial and just face the truth. The Holmes letter albeit is a plea to live but think about the victims did they have a chance for life?

This will be a very interesting trial, once we move into the defense.  The past 10 days of court have included Opening Statements by both the Prosecution and the defense.   Both sides used the allotted 2 hours to present their opening arguments, and were a pleasure to watch!  District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. runs a VERY tight court (almost-a-Judge Stevens could learn a LOT from Judge Samour!)

I will catch you up on the Court Action in the next few days.  As I told Kelly, when you get thrown off the horse, you have to get back on it.  You can only wallow in the Arias Trial for so long!  Pray for the victims families to receive the Justice they seek!



7 Responses to Mama Speaks-James Holmes Parents Letter

  1. Mags Vazquez says:

    Well said , This guy ambushed all the people in the theater, I have no sympathy at all for him .

    • Mama Via says:

      Thank you, a Mags, I appreciate your comment…I have no sympathy for his ACTS…but, if he IS a looney tune, he doesn’t deserve death…he needs to be put away and forgotten, like the Princess!

  2. Mama Via says:


    I recently found this, dated April 25th, 2015…I can say this for them…they certainly are TENACIOUS!

    The JAA Appellate Fund website has just announced the $25,000 Matching-gift Campaign.

    Here’s Sandy Arias’ message to all Jodi supporters:

    “A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, any new donations received before August 1, 2015, up to a total of $25,000. Please give generously – and soon – to allow the JAA Appellate fund to take full advantage of this gift.
    When Jodi’s two state-paid appeals are over, she will be unable to appeal any further even in Arizona, let alone in Federal courts, without a private attorney. To hire a private attorney requires a retainer of $250,000. If this amount is not raised in time — which probably means roughly in the next two years — Jodi’s case will be over forever, and she will have lost all hope of overturning her wrongful conviction. Thus, the need for funds is urgent. Please help protect Jodi’s right to future appeals by contributing now to the $25,000 matching-gift campaign.
    Thank you,
    Sandy Arias”

    Oh, yes…I’m just going to jump on that tomorrow when I get my social security check

    • TrulyUSA says:

      That kind of plea is never going to end, and I can’t really blame her mother for trying. I am turning the page on that one!

  3. TrulyUSA says:

    Thanks for the Holmes coverage, Mama. I still haven’t decided if he is crazy or just wanted to go out infamous. I have a lot of empathy for his parents, they seem like responsible, moral people. Can you imagine the shock of raising a genius-level scholar, who has a promising future in neuroscience, and then hearing that he went into that theater and indiscriminately killed those innocent people? Wow, what a shock to deal with, only eclipsed by the shock of the families of those killed. We’ll have to see how it all unfolds.

    • Mama Via says:

      Truly, I think it’s both! He’s not the first…or the last who does something big & crazy, just to be infamous!

      I haven’t talked to our Queen in the past few days, but last I heard, she was doing fine anf getting better. She sends love to you all…where is everyone?

      • TrulyUSA says:

        I’m here Mama! Things have been busy for me and probably everyone else, too. I am happy to hear that Kelly is improving, she is missed! Thanks for keeping us going, Sista.

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