Colo. shooting victim's family: Holmes is 'coward'

Jessica Ghawi among 12 killed in theater in Aurora, Colo.

Author: Irika Sargent, Anchor/Reporter, isargent@kprc.com
Published On: Jul 23 2012 05:57:57 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 23 2012 06:24:05 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

The bright red-orange hair and vacant stares from James Holmes in court had millions fixed to their televisions, but not one heartbroken mother. 

Sandy Phillips said she did not want to see the face of her daughter's alleged killer. 

"I wish, in a perfect world, that we would take his picture down and his name down," said Phillips.

Holmes, the suspected killer in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater mass shooting had his first court appearance Monday.

Jessica Ghawi was one of 12 people who died in the shooting on Friday.

In San Antonio, Phillips instead focused on her daughter's unfinished dreams. 

"It's the only reason I'm still breathing," she said.  "That's her legacy, and I have to keep that alive."

The Jessica Redfield Ghawi Foundation will support a scholarship for aspiring female journalists. It will also help a charity called Little Things, which will gather sports equipment for families affected by the Colorado wildfires. 

"I will do everything I can to keep that in the forefront and not give the monster anything," said Phillips.

Ghawi's brother, Jordan Ghawi, said he feels the same way. He is still in Colorado and refused to step inside the courtroom. 

"This guy has already had his 10 minutes of fame," said Jordan Ghawi, "I don't need to see the face of the man who has taken my sister's life."

But Jordan Ghawi heard about Holmes' court appearance and said he thinks the suspected killer is just putting on another show. 

"This guy is nothing," Jordan Ghawi said. "He is a coward and a genius. He knows what he is doing. He is playing the system. I don't believe for a second he is sitting there with his wide eyes and pretending to be incoherent." 

Jordan Ghawi said his family will hold a memorial service for Jessica Ghawi on Saturday at Community Bible Church in San Antonio.