James Holmes said his "mind was kind of falling apart" and he began to have homicidal thoughts months before he killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a Colorado movie theater, according to a video excerpt presented yesterday at his murder trial. Holmes told a state-appointed psychiatrist in the videotaped interview that he had contracted mononucleosis in late 2011 and became depressed and lacked energy partly because of a breakup with a girlfriend in early 2012. "My mind was kind of falling apart," he told Dr. William Reid in the interview at a state mental hospital two years after the July 20, 2012, theater attack in Aurora. "I don't know what else to say." Holmes also told Reid that he wondered before the attack if he was under FBI surveillance because "I was going to commit a crime." He said he had hoped he would be "locked away before I did it."
Asked by Reid whether he ever thought about hurting or killing himself, Holmes replied: "No." Asked about killing other people, Holmes said: "Yes." However, Holmes did say he associated depression with suicidal thoughts and added, "I kind of transferred my suicidal thoughts into homicidal." Reid told jurors he thought Holmes was struggling to protect himself from tumultuous emotions during the 22 hours of interviews that jurors are expected to see and was not trying to hide anything from prosecutors. Reid testified that following the exam, he determined Holmes was legally sane at the time of the shooting. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple charges of murder and attempted murder. If jurors rule in his favor, he would be committed indefinitely to the state mental hospital, and likely spend his life there. (His diary is also part of the case.)