AURORA, Colo. – Lawyers representing theater shooting suspect James Holmes have filed a document stating that detectives unfairly “peppered” Holmes with questions. The peppering occurred in the early morning of July 20, 2012, hours after Holmes was taken into custody.
“Police can tickle a suspect with fact checking, flicking infrequent fragments of inquiry his way, or they can bury him with probing statements, unleashing a mudslide of interrogation,” said defense attorney Pauline Orr. “But to intermittently pepper him with questions goes beyond what’s allowable in the eyes of the law.”
The filing will provide support to the defense’s claims that Holmes’ statements taken in the hours following the shooting should not be admissible in court, because he had not yet been advised of his rights. Police counter that they were trying to obtain information about remaining threats.
Other defense filings have stated that detectives treated Holmes too gingerly, frequently checking on his well-being and asking if he felt up to speaking. This softness, defense lawyers say, confused their client, leading him to believe that “everything was going be be ok” and that he’d be out of custody and back at home playing video games by mid-afternoon. “Officers of the law must either be short-tempered and prone to violent outbursts,” Orr said, “or as smooth and wily as all get out — as per every major Hollywood cop movie. That is what suspects expect and deserve.”