July 30th, 2012
12:31 PM ET

Colorado theater shooting suspect charged with 142 total counts

[Updated at 12:31 p.m ET] The suspect in Colorado shooting case has been charged 24 counts of first-degree murder.

Holmes was charged twice for each victim who was killed.

Read the full complaint

There are three different classes of murder charges in the state of Colorado. One set of charges is because Holmes is accused of shooting after deliberation, referring to the planning of the attack. The second set of charges is because he is accused of having an attitude of universal malice, manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Holmes was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder, one count that is a sentence enhancer because of violence and one count for possession of explosive devices.

Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said last Monday that deciding whether to pursue the death penalty would involve input from victims and their relatives. A capital case would require a finding of either extreme indifference or deliberation.

[Updated at 12:17 p.m ET] James Holmes, the man accused of opening fire this month inside an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, has been officially charged with a total of 142 counts, including first degree murder in relation to the shooting.

[Posted at 11:30 a.m. ET] The man accused of opening fire this month inside an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater will have his second court appearance Monday, when he is to face formal charges.

James Holmes is suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 during a Batman film premiere on July 20. He is also being held in connection with the subsequent discovery of his booby-trapped apartment, which authorities think he rigged before the massacre in the Century Aurora 16 multiplex.

Holmes is to be led Monday morning through an underground tunnel that connects the courthouse to the Arapahoe County Jail, where he has been held in isolation without bail.

At his court appearance, which starts at 11:30 a.m. ET, he is expected to face 12 charges of first-degree murder, charges of attempted first-degree murder and charges related to the booby-trapped apartment.

In his initial court appearance last Monday, the 24-year-old former doctoral candidate - his hair dyed various shades of orange - appeared dazed and did not speak.

Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said last Monday that deciding whether to pursue the death penalty would involve input from victims and their relatives. A capital case would require a finding of either extreme indifference or deliberation.

Authorities have remained silent about a possible motive in the case.

More on Colorado shooting:

HLN: What's jail like for suspect?

Pastor: Where God was in Aurora

FULL STORY
February 15th, 2012
07:23 AM ET

Chasing Haley Barbour: Ex-governor dodges questions about pardons

For more than a month, we have repeatedly asked former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour to sit down and talk about the roughly 200 pardons he issued in his last days in office. And for more than a month, the answer we've received from his spokesperson is a resounding "No!"

Barbour did answer a few questions from CNN's John King a few weeks ago, when he defended his decisions.

"When we have people who get rehabilitated and after 20 years of service and they deserve a second chance, it's the governor's job and the governor's job alone to let them have a second chance. That's why I'm comfortable with this," Barbour said.

But the brief answers glossed over major questions about how Barbour came to pardon so many people, and victims' families are angry that they've never met face-to-face with the governor.

The most controversial pardons were issued to four convicted murderers who worked as trusties at the Governor's Mansion in Jackson. The families of those victims say the governor has never met with them personally, never returned phone calls.

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Filed under: Justice • Mississippi
October 14th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Family hopes videos of missing girl keep spotlight on case

Videos of a missing Missouri child, released this week by her family, are snapshots of a happier time.

In one video taken by mother Deborah Bradley, 11-month-old Lisa Irwin is staring into the camera, smiling and cooing.

"Say hi to Momma," Bradley says in the video. “Look at that messy baby.”

Lisa is wearing an outfit that says “Daddy Loves Me.”

Lisa's family released three home videos of the girl - recorded in the spring - on Thursday, hoping to keep her image in the spotlight. The family says it last saw Lisa about 10:30 p.m. October 3, asleep in a crib in her Kansas City home, according to police.

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Filed under: Missing Children • Missouri
NASA flight director relishes the moment, focuses on the mission
NASA Flight Director Richard Jones monitors the space shuttle Atlantis inside Mission Control the Johnson Space Center.
July 8th, 2011
06:41 PM ET

NASA flight director relishes the moment, focuses on the mission

After Friday's launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, CNN Correspondent Ed Lavandera talked with Flight Director Richard Jones inside NASA Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Jones is a 20-year veteran of the space shuttle program. Today, Jones made the call to give the go-ahead for the final launch of Atlantis.

CNN: What was it like being in there today?

Richard Jones: I was a bundle of nerves. I mean, we were working through the weather issue that most people probably already know about. The weather was on the verge of being absolutely pristine, but it just wasn't quite there. So, we were churning through that making sure it was all safe.

CNN: I know your number one priority was to get those astronauts off safely. But in the back of your mind, knowing the whole world was watching today, Did that sink in at any point?

Jones: It's sinking in right now as I'm talking to you. In this room you kind of learn to live in the bubble a little bit. So everything that we're doing, it just fades to the background. We know a lot of people are watching but it becomes background noise. So I wasn't focusing on anything except my job at the time.

CNN: Has it sunk that this was the last space shuttle launch?

Jones: Not yet. I mean, we've got a mission to fly. After, we'll stop when all the parties begin. It's going to start sinking in at that time. But we have to make sure the rest of the mission goes off without a hitch.

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Filed under: Atlantis • NASA • Shuttle
Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away
The Wood family's dog, Roxie, stands in front of the family's destroyed home.
May 25th, 2011
03:09 PM ET

Hunkered in 'safe room,' Oklahoma family had no idea top floors were blown away

After crawling and climbing over mangled wooden debris, a couch and a water heater blocking the staircase, we made it, to what used to be the second floor of Frank Wood's home in Piedmont, Oklahoma.

"This is it," Wood said, looking out over his 12-acre lot. "We used to have a beautiful view."

Frank Wood and his two children survived a direct hit on their home by a tornado that ripped across Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon.

The Woods' home was originally three stories tall, but the top floor is nowhere to be found. Frank Wood's pickup truck is a mangled mess, sitting in a ditch 300 yards from the driveway.

The family survived because of a "safe room" built into the garage. Frank Wood rushed into the safe room and locked it.

Roxie, the Wood family

He says the room is so fortified that he had no idea how bad the damage was until he walked out and realized the top two floors of the house had been blown off.

As the family rushed into the safe room, they weren't able to grab their dog, Roxie. After the storm passed, the kids rushed out to find the tan boxer, but she was gone.

But Wednesday morning, Frank Wood finally got some good news. An oil rig worker almost two miles away had found Roxie wandering around in a field, unscathed except for a small scratch on a front leg.

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Filed under: Oklahoma • On the Ground • Tornadoes
How government shutdown would hurt Americans
A government shutdown could sink Cami Stewart's dream of building a restaurant on this land in Justin, Texas.
April 8th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

How government shutdown would hurt Americans

Cami Stewart's dream of becoming the "Taco Queen" of Justin, Texas, could crumble if the federal government shuts down.

Stewart has spent 16 months developing a business plan and preparing paperwork for a million-dollar loan that needs approval from the Small Business Administration. She's building a Taco Mayo restaurant, a small, regional fast-food chain, from the ground up on a small parcel of undeveloped land.

If there's a shutdown, the SBA would suspend loan approvals, threatening Stewart's plan.

"I've been working and doing a lot of research trying to figure this out," she said.

Even a short shutdown could spoil Stewart's first efforts. She has until the end of April to close the real estate deal. She said other developers are also interested in the land and would swoop in and buy it if her loan doesn't come through in time.

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Filed under: Politics • Texas
Tensions between police, protesters reach boiling point outside Wisconsin capitol
Protesters vie to get into the Wisconsin state capitol for Thursday's vote.
March 10th, 2011
08:29 PM ET

Tensions between police, protesters reach boiling point outside Wisconsin capitol

Outrage and frustration erupted outside the Wisconsin state capitol as scores of protesters tried to push their way inside the building before today's controversial vote.

Eager to get inside to make their voices heard during the vote, they chanted and screamed "Let Us In" and "Shame" to guards standing at the door. Some pounded on the door's windows, others tried to sneak in through windows with the help of friends inside.

The Capitol building was on total lockdown for almost two hours. We saw two Democratic legislators turned away at the door. Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was also not allowed inside at first.

The tension escalated quickly and for a moment it felt like the situation was going to erupt into fist-flying brawl between the officers and protesters.

We were caught in the middle of the large swarm trying to barrel its way past police officers barricading one of many doors into the Capitol. A handful of livid protesters tried to rip the door open. One protester screamed in my ear "keep pushing forward, let's get in there." A couple of protesters were restrained by the Capitol police officers and pulled back before the scrum erupted into a more dangerous situation.

A few video cameras captured the melee and several protesters, weary of how the fight would appear in the news media, started chanting "peaceful, peaceful, peaceful."

Eventually the officers were able to push the crowd back and shut the door again and regain control of the heated moment.

Later a few entrances were re-opened into the capitol building but many protesters are still saying that access to the capitol building is being denied.

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Filed under: Labor
March 8th, 2011
06:04 PM ET

Tired but undaunted, Wisconsin protesters continue to make themselves heard

Francis Clark walked away from the Wisconsin capitol building in Madison with protest signs under his arms and leaned against a stone ledge.

"Man, we're tired. We need a day off," the chef from Madison said Tuesday to anyone walking by who would listen.

For three weeks, tens of thousands of protesters and union supporters from around the Midwest have flocked to Madison to rally against Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining powers from state worker unions.

The crowds have thinned since the ferocious early days of protests, but  protest chants still echoed through the golden halls of this gorgeous capitol building on Tuesday.

In the rotunda, union supporters took turns leading the crowd in protest chants. A woman held up a sign that read, "Walker's Bill is Sick. I know, I'm a nurse." And a small group of firefighters marched around the rotunda showing solidarity with the union protesters. (Police and firefighters will not lose their collective bargaining powers under the governor's proposal.)

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Filed under: Gov. Scott Walker • Labor • Politics • Wisconsin
September 8th, 2010
08:49 PM ET

Reporter's notebook: Now I've seen a tornado

This is the first tornado CNN's Ed Lavandera has seen.

Usually reporters spend a good chunk of their careers chasing tornadoes and never see one.  I was one of those guys until today.

But I didn’t chase the tornado that blew right past my office window in downtown Dallas.  Watching the tornado pass within two miles of our building was a surreal sight.

The tornado looked like it was trying to become a bigger storm and gain strength.  It spun violently and whipped up debris. I could see powerline transformers explode.

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Filed under: Tornadoes • Weather
August 17th, 2010
11:59 AM ET

Scientists: Toxic organisms, oil found on Gulf floor

John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic.

It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.

Paul is a marine microbiologist with the University of South Florida. He and 13 other researchers were in the middle of a 10-day research mission that began August 6 in the Gulf of Mexico when they made the toxic discovery.

FULL POST

July 2nd, 2010
01:11 PM ET

Dispersants flow into Gulf in 'science experiment'

Chemical dispersants keep flowing into the Gulf of Mexico at virtually unchanged levels despite the Environmental Protection Agency's order to BP to "significantly" scale back, according to a CNN analysis of daily dispersant reports provided by the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command.

When the May 26 directive was issued, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said dispersant use should be cut by 75 percent.

FULL POST