A Colorado judge has accepted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for alleged theater shooter James Holmes, the AP reports. Now begins an evaluation of Holmes by state doctors to determine whether was insane at the time of the shootings in Aurora, CO. That process could take months. Holmes is accused of killing 12 moviegoers during a shooting spree last summer at a Cinemark theater midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. Holmes originally had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf, but his lawyers later offered a deal in which he was willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison. The Arapahoe County District Attorney rejected the plea deal in April and said he would seek the death penalty in the case. The insanity plea is widely seen as Holmes’ best chance of avoiding execution given the extent of evidence against him.
Some family members of victims of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting are outraged over an invitation they received from Cinemark to attend “a special evening of remembrance” and a movie in the theater where their loved ones were killed. The letter, published today in the Denver Post, is signed by eight relatives of victims who say they are particularly upset that the invitation was sent during the holidays. A portion of the letter follows below:
To the Management of Cinemark USA, Inc.:
During the holiday we didn’t think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful.
You (Cinemark) has shown, and continues to show, ZERO compassion to the families of the victims whose loved ones were killed in their theater. You, Cinemark, have never once reached out to the families to offer condolences.
This disgusting offer that you’d “like to invite you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 PM” followed by the showing of a movie and then telling us to be sure “to reserve our tickets” is wholly offensive to the memory of our loved ones.
The entertainment giant’s CEO kicked off his quarterly earnings call with analysts by paying homage to the shooting victims in Aurora at a showing of Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises. He voiced ”our profound sadness about the terrible events” and added: ”Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims of this appalling …
Here’s the announcement in a letter today from National Association of Theatre Owners chief John Fithian seeking contributions from the group’s members:
Dear Exhibition Colleagues,
The tragic events that occurred in Aurora, Colorado have been devastating to the victims, their familiesand loved ones, the community, the state and the nation.
As we watch the aftermath unfold and try to make sense of this terrible crime, you should be encouraged by the leadership and dedication of the community of Aurora as they comfort and assist their families and neighbors. The courage of the victims, their families and loved ones, the theater employees involved, the first responders and hospital staff members has steeled the resolve of the community and its leaders to recover from this tragedy and to emerge even stronger than before.
SATURDAY, 2ND UPDATE: Ann Curry did not co-host, according to some people who watched the Today show this morning, even though NBC said she would. But, yes, she is reporting from Aurora and contributed to a number of stories, following her Dateline anchoring last night..
FRIDAY PM UPDATE: Less than a month after she departed NBC’s daily morning show, Ann Curry will co-host the Today show with her replacement Savannah Guthrie. Both are traveling to Aurora to report on the shooting at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. They will co-anchor Saturday and Sunday.
President Obama authorized the action in a proclamation this afternoon. He calls it “a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, …
The exhibition chains are weighing in with their response to the Colorado theater shooting.
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EXCLUSIVE … UPDATE 9:30 AM: Warner Bros is now telling me that its outside non-studio spokeswoman failed to tell me the whole and accurate story about the process that led to the studio taking down its offensive Gangster Squad trailer this morning. A Warner Bros executive now tells me how the studio was scrambling to deal with the Aurora theater shooting crisis in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. Then, at 5 AM, one of the top distribution execs remembered that Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad trailer was playing “loose” this weekend timed to the studio’s The Dark Knight Rises release in about 30% of domestic theaters. (“Loose” means that theaters had been asked to play the trailer which was not paired with The Dark Knight Rises.)
According to Warner Bros, this distribution exec suddenly remembered that the trailer for the mob movie contained a scene showing a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. This distribution exec quickly instructed the studio to “replace it as soon as possible”. At 6 AM, Warner Bros started notifying the theater circuits to pull the offensive Gangster Squad trailer. That is being done all over North America today. Meanwhile, Warner Bros’ marketing department is scrambling to get out its second-generation Gangster Squad trailer already in the works. This new trailer, without the movie theater scene, will be swapped out for the offensive one within a week. Warner Bros says this is now the whole story.
And the studio’s explanation which I absolutely believe also makes clear that, while my phone calls overlapped with their behind-the-scenes process, I was not responsible for the studio pulling the offensive Gangster Squad trailer with the movie theater shooting scene.
PREVIOUS 7:30 AM: This was truly terrible decision-making by Warner Bros – both to release a trailer like this and then not to pull it immediately after today’s tragedy. I have confirmed that the studio which released The Dark Knight Rises paired offered it with the official movie trailer for Gangster Squad, an upcoming pic set in 1949 about a ruthless Mafia Godfather who runs Los Angeles. One of the scenes in the trailer that’s been playing all morning today shows a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. Several outraged moviegoers tipped me to this scene.