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Aurora Shootings: Cinema Offer Angers Families
Family members of people killed in the Colorado cinema shootings have rejected an invitation to attend its reopening.
The parents, grandparents, cousins and widow of nine of the 12 people who died in July during a midnight screening of the latest Batman film have released a letter sent to the theatre's owner, Cinemark.
The families said they were invited to an "evening of remembrance" followed by a movie. They said the company's timing was "awful" in sending the invitations two days after Christmas.
"Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful," they wrote.
The Plano, Texas-based company has been renovating the Aurora cinema and plans to reopen it January 17.
The company had no immediate comment.
Meanwhile, prosecutors and defence lawyers in the case said they are ready for a crucial hearing next week in which prosecutors will outline their case against accused gunman James Holmes.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin on Monday and is expected to run through the week.
At its conclusion, District Judge William Sylvester will decide if the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial.
Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70 during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20.
The preliminary hearing will give the public its first officially sanctioned look at much of the evidence against Holmes.
The judge imposed a gag order shortly after Holmes' arrest barring attorneys and investigators from speaking publicly about the case, and many documents have been sealed.
The University of Colorado, where Holmes was a graduate student, has also been tight-lipped about the case.
Holmes was enrolled in a PhD neuroscience program at the university. Investigators said he began stockpiling firearms and ammunition while taking classes in the spring.
In June, he made threats to a professor and on June 10 filed withdrawal papers after failing a year-end exam, prosecutors said.
The next day he saw his school psychiatrist who tried to report him to a campus security committee, according to Holmes' lawyers.