JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Days after his alleged actions shocked us all, accused mass murderer James Holmes' courtroom demeanor disturbed many observers.
Holmes' behavior at his first court hearing appeared erratic and his attorney did mention future "scientific tests" prompting some to wonder about the possibility of an insanity plea.
Local defense attorney Dale Carson believes Holmes' courtroom conduct may in fact have been contrived. "Remember he was at a movie in role play acting as if he were the Joker," Carson told Action News, "So he's into role play."
Holmes seemed dazed at times, rolled his eyes at others and even closed his eyelids while the judge was speaking.
One victim's brother Jordan Ghawi said, "He is a coward and a genius. He knows what he is doing. He is playing the system. I don't believe for a second he is sitting there with his wide eyes and pretending to be incoherent."
Mental evaluations and expert testimony would first be required before a judge could declare someone legally insane.
Carson says, "the legal definition (of insanity) is the inability to know the difference between right and wrong. That's the simple definition."
Some courtroom viewers wondered if Holmes was medicated for the hearing, but jail officials would not divulge that information.