Monday marks the first day of trial for Aurora shooter James Holmes, who is accused of shooting at a crowd inside of a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Prior to the trial, Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, acknowledging that he killed 12 and injured 70 in the shooting but claiming he was suffering from a psychiatric illness at the time. Despite his plea, prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty, which Holmes' defense team will try their hardest to avoid for their client. But just who are Tamara Brady and Daniel King, Holmes' defense attorneys? According to their records, Holmes might be able to avoid death row.
Under American law, everyone has the right to an attorney, and if one chooses not to hire one or is financially unable to hire one, the state will assign a team of public defenders. Such is the case for Holmes, who is being represented by two attorneys from Colorado's Office of the State Public Defender, Tamara Brady and Daniel King.
Both Brady and King are part of the defender's office's capital cases team, and between the two of them, they've handled some pretty high-profile cases. Though the clients they represented have been accused of terrible crimes, they work incredibly hard at their job as public defenders.
A chief trial deputy with the Colorado Public Defender's Office, Tamara Brady was able to keep another accused murderer off of death row. In 2006, she represented Jose Luis Rubi-Nava, who was accused of killing his girlfriend by dragging her behind a car with a tow strap. While prosecutors fought to have him sentenced to death, he was ultimately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Daniel King is also a chief trial deputy who has been with the public defender's office since 1995, according to his LinkedIn page. He has helped equally high-profile clients. In 2010, he defended Jerry Nemnich, who was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony murder after DNA evidence proved he was guilty. Despite the outcome and being in and out of prison since he was 15 years old, the 70-year-old was sentenced to two consecutive life terms rather than the death penalty.
However, another high-profile client wasn't able to escape capital punishment. In 2005, Sir Mario Owens was accused of shooting two witnesses who were scheduled to testify against Owens' friend while the accused was on trial for a third, unrelated murder. King defended Owens, but the convict was sentenced to death in 2008. He is currently one of three people on death row in Colorado.
Images: Getty Images (1), Daniel King/LinkedIn