JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- James Holmes appeared in court today with reddish clown-like hair, a far cry from his image as a budding neuroscientist.
Until last Friday, Holmes was known as an outstanding student enrolled in a phd program at the University of Colorado. He received a $26,000 research grant by the National Institutes of Health, funded by taxpayer money.
"The federal grant should have gone to his education, rather than buying weapons," UNF student Michael Noesen said.
That equaled out to a monthly check of about $2,166. At the same while getting that grant money Holmes also received a high volume of expensive deliveries to his home and work.
A receipt dated July second shows he purchased a tactical assault vest, a pistol magazine, and a M16 magazine pouch and knife for $306 dollars. He also loaded up an array of weapons.
For most grants, there's no checks and balances to make sure the money is being used appropriately.
"If you need housing or have to pay bills and you do have leftover money after using it for classes, I mean, regardless of how this one kid used it, it should still be, acceptable to do that," UNF student Harrison Sinex said.
Turns out, only six students at the University of Colorado, including Holmes were chosen to work on the neuroscience training program.
Holmes was chose for it when he was in high school. One of his fellow students spoke to CNN, but did not want to be identified.
"He was a very quiet person. He didn't talk to us. I think all of us were very excited to be there, so we were very friendly, talking about college plans. but he never really wanted to associate with us," she said.
Holmes withdrew from the research program last month.