Potential jurors tough to hold on to for Aurora theater shooting trial


CENTENNIAL | Jury selection in the Aurora theater shooting trial continued Monday with just two jurors being asked to return for the next round.

Because another juror who was already qualified for the group questioning phase was also released Monday, the total headed to the next round is 98. It had been 97 at the end of last week.

The two jurors asked to return — a middle-aged woman and a younger man — both said they have reservations about the death penalty, but said they could hand it down in some cases.

Also Monday, Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said he was frustrated with a few jurors who were previously qualified for the next round but later contacted the court and asked to be released.

In one case, Samour said the court moved opening statements from April 21 to April 27 to accommodate the woman’s upcoming honeymoon. But, Samour said, after he scheduled openings for April 27, the woman called and said she would like to be released so she could move her honeymoon to May.

“This is not a game,” Samour said. “If you tell us you can be here and serve on the jury, we are going to count on you to be here and serve on the jury.”

The judge said he would not released that juror or another woman in a similar situation. Instead, he said he will allow them to try to convince him that they are facing a hardship when they report for group questioning April 13.

Accused shooter James Holmes sat quietly throughout Monday’s hearing, again reading a book printed out on copy paper.