July 23rd, 2012
12:11 PM ET

Death penalty decision months away, DA says

Editor's note: The man accused of opening fire in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, is set to make his first court appearance Monday, giving the public its first look at the suspect since his arrest in an attack that authorities say was planned months in advance. We're live blogging the court appearance, which begins at 11:30 a.m. ET.

[Posted at 12:11 p.m. ET] The district attorney's press conference has concluded.

[Posted at 12:11 p.m. ET] Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, on Monday urged anybody who still has information that may be pertinent in the case to contact the police or the district attorney's office.

[Posted at 12:09 p.m. ET] Asked by a reporter if any medication or sedatives had been provided by the jail to Holmes, Chambers said she had no information about it.

[Posted at 12:07 p.m. ET] "It's still a very active and ongoing investigation," Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said Monday.

[Posted at 12:06 p.m. ET] Domestic terrorism charges would not be something state prosecutors would consider in the case, Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said Monday.

[Posted at 12:04 p.m. ET] Victims' families will be consulted before a decision is made on seeking the death penalty for Holmes, Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said. That decision is months away, she said.

[Posted at 12:02 p.m. ET] Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said "there is no such thing as a slam dunk case" and prosecutors would be working hard to prove the charges against James Holmes.

[Posted at 11:45 a.m. ET] Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday.

[Posted at 11:41 a.m. ET] Holmes' expression has changed little during the court hearing. He has mostly been staring off into space.

[Posted at 11:34 a.m. ET] Formal filing of charges will be Monday, July 30, at 9:30 Colorado time, the judge says.

[Posted at 11:32 a.m. ET] Holmes didn't look at the judge as the hearing started, just down as he was read his rights.

[Posted at 11:31 a.m. ET] James Holmes appears before Judge William B. Sylvester. He is wearing a maroon jumpsuit.

[Posted at 11:27 a.m. ET]  The public information officer for Colorado courts tweets that the district attorney in the James Holmes case will hold a press conference after the hearing.

[Posted at 11:09 a.m. ET]  James E. Holmes, 24, is likely to face charges of first-degree murder - an offense that carries a possible death penalty, if he is convicted - in the shooting deaths, given allegations over the weekend by police that there is evidence to suggest "calculation and deliberation" in the rampage.

Holmes is being held in connection with the early Friday morning shootings that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, and the subsequent discovery of his booby-trapped apartment, which authorities believe he rigged before leaving for the Century Aurora 16 multiplex.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about a possible motive in the case, and police spokesman Frank Fania told CNN late Sunday that Holmes has been uncooperative with investigators and requested an attorney.

Arapahoe County public defender James O'Connor has been assigned to the case. The Colorado Judicial Department declined to say whether Holmes requested a public defender. A telephone call by CNN to O'Connor's office was not immediately returned.

Holmes' court appearance will come a few hours before his family is expected to break their silence with a statement.

The family, which lives in San Diego, has not spoken publicly since the allegations against Holmes. They issued a short statement Friday saying they did not wish to be disturbed "at the time of this tragic event."

Background of Colorado shooting suspect full of contrasts

Remembering the victims

soundoff (1,254 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Couldnt agree more with Henry. If this guy didnt have guns he would have used something else. Everyone is talking about gun control laws when in my opinion they should be discussing capital punishment now more than ever. This guy knowing and willingly massacred human beings with no remorse or regard whatsoever. He should be killed and perhaps sentencing for similar, horrific crimes like this should carry stiffer punishments so people think twice before ever doing this for fear of going through torture themselves. Stone him and avoid the money it takes for appeals or electric bills the chair would bring. Controlling guns may take them off of the street but it will never rid society of people like this who deserve to go through exactly what they do unto others.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Chelly

    So, when a black person or hispanic person commits a crime, it's gang/drug related, when a foreigner kills it's terrorism, but when a white american kills, it's insanity... Please, in order to be qualified as insane you have to have bodies stashed or something like that... Something more than you being a PHD candidate and dying your hair orange, then opening fire on innocent people!!! The police that took him in should have got rid of him right then and there! No one would know what happened... Just say he tried to attack or something... Done deal! Stop wasting American tax money on these fools! Firing squad qould be nice!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Barbara

    I really feel that this psycho was faking his reactions in court. The only thing terribly WRONG with him is his evil mind. He wants pity and believe me, he will not get it! He knew exactly what he was doing and just want people to think that he does not know what is going on. He is totally aware and justice will be served! My prayers and heart go out to all of the families and friends of the victims as well as those whom are still hospitalized :(

    July 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. alex

    What if he never told them about the traps...

    July 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. G.L. McIntyre

    Can't figure out if the people calling for everyone to carry a gun are joking or what.........that's a great idea, more and more people dead, what? CRAZY plus one is just not working for me, let's just say, this nut job, the idiot in Phoenix,the crazy guy that shot Jim Brady, the Kennedy brothers killers and you want the whole world to carry a gun. Insane idea.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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