DENVER (CN) — A jury was selected Monday for the civil trial against Cinemark Theaters, for James Holmes’ rampage at a “Batman” movie that left 12 people dead and 70 wounded.
Twenty-eight survivors and relatives of victims sued the theater chain for negligence in October 2012, three months after Holmes’ mass murders.
Holmes is serving life in prison for 165 counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Six jurors and two alternated were selected Monday, five men and three women. Opening arguments were to begin Tuesday morning in Arapahoe County Court.
The survivors accuse Cinemark of failing to prepare for the large crowd expected at the midnight release of the “Batman” movie. They say other theaters across the nation tightened security in expectation of large crowds, but the Aurora Cinemark did not hire extra staff. Holmes entered the theater through a fire exit while “Batman: The Dark Knight Was Playing.”
With more than 1,000 moviegoers expected for the midnight showing, the survivors say, Cinemark should have hired guards to patrol the parking lot. They say Holmes might have been spotted near the back of the theater, where he approached the ajar exit door dressed in homemade ballistic gear, carrying multiple firearms.
They say the exit, which Holmes propped open before the movie began, had no alarm, allowing his activities to go unnoticed.
Months before the attack, the Department of Homeland Security sent movie theaters a federal security memo warning that they could be a target for terrorist attacks, but Arapahoe County Judge Phillip Douglass ruled the memo inadmissible.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
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