CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A judge overseeing the Colorado theater shooting trial dismissed a potential juror who tore out her hair when told she would have to return for further questioning.
The woman broke down Tuesday outside the courtroom and away from defendant James Holmes and his attorneys.
Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said the woman had brought her grandchild into the courthouse because she couldn't find daycare for the unvaccinated child.
Samour said he was concerned about the health risks of having an unvaccinated child in the courtroom.
The woman "lost it," began crying and became incoherent when told she would have to return later for further questioning.
The defense agreed to release her from jury duty after the outburst. On Wednesday, Samour said other potential jurors found clumps of hair on the floor.
Attorneys are in the process of selecting 12 jurors and 12 alternates who will hear the case against Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 others in the July 20, 2012, attack at a Denver-area movie theater.
Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
An unprecedented 9,000 people were initially sent summonses.
Potential jurors began flooding the courthouse on Jan. 20 to fill out a lengthy questionnaire involved in screening. Since then it has become clear how badly some of them want to avoid service and how the trial, which could run through October, could disrupt their lives.
Samour has dismissed more than 1,000 people, many of whom brought notes from doctors, said they were not U.S. citizens, or were unable to speak English. Others have told the judge in written notes that serving will negatively impact their livelihoods or exacerbate family problems.
The second phase of jury selection starts Feb. 11 with questioning of candidates about the death penalty, mental illness and other matters. Samour said he hopes at least 100 people suitable for service will remain after that process ends.