Chris Holmes, younger sister of accused James Holmes, testified before the jury on Monday, saying “the murders were completely out of character,” to convince the jurors that her brother does not deserve the death penalty. She also said she still loves her brother despite the person he has become.
In testifying for James, Chris described him as a loving brother with a large group of friends in Salinas, California, where they used to live. According to her, James’ “withdrawn” personality begun when they transferred to San Diego, around 400 miles from their former residence. During this time, James left home to pursue graduate studies in Aurora, Colorado.
Supporting her testimony was an old photo of the siblings at the age of two and seven respectively, as presented by the defense. The court also learned that James used to read to Chris and even feed her. James also wrote to Chris, saying “he looked forward to playing with her.”
When asked whether she would ever see her brother as selfish or mean, Chris answered no. “He never wanted to be the center of attention, and he like to keep how he was feeling to himself so he didn’t burden others. He was always looking out for my Mom,” Chris told the court.
Attorney Rebekka Higgs of the defense asked whether Chris thinks her brother still loves her. “I think so. I still love him,” Chris broke out in tears as she answered.
The younger Holmes was among those who will take a stand to project a kinder side of gunman James who shot to death 12 people and wounded 70 others attending a midnight showing of a Batman movie on July 2012. The jury found him guilty and is now deliberating on whether a life imprisonment or death penalty shall be meted out. She was presented during the punishment stage of the trial.