Mother of Aurora theater shooter writes book as trial looms

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Mother of Aurora Theater Shooter Writes Book as Trial Looms

(KDVR -- DEL MAR, Calif.) The mother of Aurora theater gunman James Holmes has written a book, revealing she prays for the victims of the shooting daily.

Most of the book, titled "When the Focus Shifts: The Prayer Book of Arlene Holmes," contains a collection of prayers from her handwritten journals.

It also includes Arlene Holmes' feelings of guilt for not recognizing her son's mental illness and not getting him help. In one passage, she implies her son lived so he could be studied to prevent a future tragedy.

"What were you thinking, Jim? And what are you thinking now? Praying for Jim in jail; please don't commit suicide. You lived so that we could understand you and others could study you and learn to prevent future tragedy," Arlene Holmes wrote in an entry from Jan. 12, 2013.

Holmes' parents and his attorneys have said he was in a psychotic episode when he burst into the midnight showing of "The Dark Night Rises" at the Century Aurora 16 Multiplex Theater and opened fire on July 20, 2012.

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James Holmes Aurora 'Dark Knight' shooting & pre-trial
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Mother of Aurora theater shooter writes book as trial looms
Crime scene tape surrounds the Century 16 movie theater where 12 people were killed in a shooting rampage last Friday, on July 23, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Suspect James Holmes, 24, allegedly went on a shooting spree and killed 12 people and injured 58 during an early morning screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Aurora police top brass commander Jack Daluz (R), Roger Cloyd (C) and division chief Kevin Flynn visit the makeshift memorial across the street from the Century 16 movie theater on July 25, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 and injuring 58 others on July 20 during a shooting rampage at a screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Seen from the air, blood-stained footprints dot the back of the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Seen from the air, police continue to investigate outside the Century 16 movie theatre where suspect James Holmes went on a shooting rampage during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition . Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 21: Law enforcement officials tow nearby cars as they prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials carry buckets from the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in the Century 16 movie theatre shooting, on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured including 9 in critical condition. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Police break the window of the apartment of of James Holmes, the suspect of a shooting in a movie theater July 20, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and 59 wounded when James allegedly opened fire inside the a movie theater showing the 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Police have James, 24, of Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
AURORA, CO - JULY 20: The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officers prepare to disarm the booby-trapped apartment of suspect James Holmes after he went on a shooting rampage at nearby Century 16 movie theatre during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises' on July 21, 2012 in Aurora, outside of Denver, Colorado. According to reports, 12 people have been killed and over 59 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody and are now dealing with various devices and trip wires in the apartment. (Photo by Chris Schneider/Getty Images)
Arlene (L) and Robert Holmes, the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the court house after a midday recess during a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. It was announced that District Attorney George Brauchler will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(R), the parents of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes, arrive at the courtroom for a hearing in the Arapahoe County Justice Center on April 1, 2013 in Centennial, Colorado. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty for suspect James Holmes, who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes in the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, 2012. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - SEPTEMBER 20: In this photo provided by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, James Holmes poses for a booking photo September 20, 2012 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes is charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20, shooting rampage at an opening night screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)
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Each of the 12 people who were killed and the 70 others who were injured are named in the book.

Arlene Holmes said in an interview with the Del Mar Times that James Holmes was never violent.

"We never owned a gun," Arlene Holmes said. "James showed no interest in guns."

She and her husband, Robert, say they are preparing for their son's trial and hope his life can be spared. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial is expected to begin with opening statements April 27.

"The pretrial process has been lengthy, stressful for everyone and expensive; the trial will be torturous and lengthy, and the appeal process in death penalty cases could last decades," she wrote in the forward of the book.

Arlene Holmes says she also prays for prosecutors as well as defense attorneys.

"I do not know why you want to pursue execution of a mentally ill man," Arlene Holmes wrote. "But I pray for you, so that you will find peace in your life. I pray you will change your mind. Please stop this quest for death so you may focus on those who are alive."

Arlene Holmes said proceeds from the book will be donated to mental health services, not to her son's defense.

"Because so many people like to blame the parents if a child is mentally ill, we have to reaffirm to ourselves every day that we were good parents and good people, and this still happened anyway," Arlene Holmes said.

In December, Robert and Arlene Holmes wrote in a letter that their son "is not a monster. He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness" who should be spared from the death penalty.

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