Jurors in the Aurora theater shooting murder trial will not have to live in hotel rooms during the four or more months the trial takes, according to a judge's order issued Thursday.
Judge Carlos Samour rejected a request by the lawyers of suspect James Holmes that the jury be sequestered during the trial, to prevent exposure to media coverage of the case that might impact their decision.
Samour wrote that sequestration would be an "unnecessarily drastic, expensive, and impractical remedy that will significantly impact the pool of prospective jurors and will create an extreme and undue hardship for jurors."
Photos: James Holmes Court Appearance
Instead, Samour said he would warn jurors to avoid media coverage about the trial or conversations where the trial would likely be discussed. If that doesn't work, Samour said Holmes' attorneys can re-submit their sequestration request later.
In other orders, Samour said jurors will not be able to have cellphones, tablets or laptops in the courtroom but can use them outside of the courtroom, as long as they don't use them to look up information about the case.
Samour also granted a defense request to limit the evidence of security around Holmes during the trial. Samour ordered that Holmes won't be handcuffed or shackled during the trial, but will instead be restrained with a harness under his clothing that is connected to an anchor in the floor. The connecting cable will be disguised to look like a computer cable, Samour wrote in his order.
In addition, most sheriff's deputies in the courtroom will be in plain clothes, Samour ordered.
Samour has previously allowed Holmes to wear street clothes at trial, to limit the inference of guilt jurors might draw if he were in jail clothing.
John Ingold: 303-954-1068, email@example.com or twitter.com/john_ingold