Tag Archives: mass murder

Aurora shooter insanity plea accepted

Donkey Hotey (CC)

Donkey Hotey (CC)

Accused Colorado theater shooter, James Holmes was in court today to plead not guilty due to insanity. If found guilty, Holmes could face the death penalty for the deaths of 12 movie-goers at the Aurora theater. The 25-year-old is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder, arising from the rampage that left 12 dead, and dozens more wounded.

Reuters reports:

The judge, Carlos Samour Jr., had delayed ruling on whether to accept such an insanity plea until legal questions surrounding the matter were resolved.

Among those issues was a challenge to the state’s insanity-defense law by public defenders. They argued that a provision of the statute that requires a defendant mounting an insanity defense to submit to an examination by court-appointed psychiatrists is unconstitutional.

Compelling a defendant to divulge information that could be used against him at trial and at sentencing violates his right against self-incrimination, they argued. But Samour upheld the law last week, setting the stage for Tuesday’s hearing.

Holmes has been hospitalized twice while in custody – once for self-inflicted head injuries, and once when he was held in restraints in a psychiatric ward. He was ordered to stand trial in January, after it had been revealed in testimony by investigators that he had spent months preparing to commit mass murder by acquiring firearms and bomb making materials.

Dallas Christmas Day Slayings: Muslim Honor Killing?

The slaughter of 7 people in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Grapevine on Christmas Day appears to be a case of an “honor killing” and suicide by a Muslim father angry that his 19 year old daughter was dating a non-muslim young man.

According to reports in the Dallas Morning News, the father, Aziz Yazdanpanah didn’t like his daughter’s non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior.

“She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.”

Victims have been identified as Yazdanpanah, his estranged 55-year-old wife, Fatemeh Rahmati, their 19-year-old daughter, Nona Narges Yazdanpanah, and 15-year-old son, Ali Yazdanpanah.

Friends of the family said Fatemeh Rahmati’s 58-year-old sister, Zohreh Rahmaty, and her husband, Hossein Zarei, 59, and daughter Sahra Zarei, a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University of Texas at Arlington, also were killed.

A neighbor at the apartment complex reportedly saw the suspected shooter get out of his white sport utility vehicle dressed in a Santa outfit, including a full coat, pants, boots and belt. Based in part on that witness account, police believe the shootings occurred about the time a 911 call rang into the station at 11:34 a.m. Sunday.

Police have not yet stated a positive motive and said that determination would come when the investigation has been completed.

Bob Russell
December 27, 2011