CRIME

Defense in Colorado theater shooting will open with focus on gunman's mental illness

  • FILE -In this Dec. 8, 2014, file photo, George Brauchler, left, district attorney of Arapahoe County, Colo., heads into a hearing in Centennial, Colo., in the murder trial of Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes. Defense attorneys for Holmes are preparing to open their case on Thursday, June 25, 2015 with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of his mental illness at the time of the attack on July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

    FILE -In this Dec. 8, 2014, file photo, George Brauchler, left, district attorney of Arapahoe County, Colo., heads into a hearing in Centennial, Colo., in the murder trial of Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes. Defense attorneys for Holmes are preparing to open their case on Thursday, June 25, 2015 with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of his mental illness at the time of the attack on July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Defense attorneys for Holmes are preparing to open their case on Thursday, June 25, 2015 with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of the theater shooting suspect's mental illness at the time of the massacre. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

    FILE - In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Defense attorneys for Holmes are preparing to open their case on Thursday, June 25, 2015 with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of the theater shooting suspect's mental illness at the time of the massacre. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this image taken from video on Friday, June 19, 2015,, Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes, second from left, stands along with defense and prosecution teams, as the jury exits the courtroom for a break in the Holmes trial, in Centennial, Colo. The prosecution, led by District Attorney George Brauchler, second from left, rested its case Friday. Holmes attorneys will open their case  Thursday, June 25, with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of his mental illness at the time of the attack. (Colorado Judicial Department via AP, Pool, file)

    FILE - In this image taken from video on Friday, June 19, 2015,, Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes, second from left, stands along with defense and prosecution teams, as the jury exits the courtroom for a break in the Holmes trial, in Centennial, Colo. The prosecution, led by District Attorney George Brauchler, second from left, rested its case Friday. Holmes attorneys will open their case Thursday, June 25, with witnesses they hope can illustrate the severity of his mental illness at the time of the attack. (Colorado Judicial Department via AP, Pool, file)  (The Associated Press)

Attorneys for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes will focus their case on showing he was legally insane when he opened fire inside a crowded cinema.

Starting Thursday, defense attorneys will try to show that Holmes' mind was so distorted by schizophrenia that he was unable to tell right from wrong during the July 2012 attack. Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 70 more.

If his insanity plea is successful, Holmes would be committed to a mental hospital indefinitely.

Prosecutors presented two months of emotional testimony and want jurors to convict and execute Holmes.

Defense attorneys plan to call at least two experts who found Holmes insane at the time of the attack.