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. Libdumb

    Just tell us when they execute him. Suspect? What BS.Bring on the OJ lawyers.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      I hope somebody will PLEASE tell Patricia Legarreta that her boyfriend LEFT HER AND THE 2 BABIES IN THE THEATER ALONE WHILE HE GOT OUT!!!. I saw a report where he (Jamie Rohrs) asked her to marry him in the hospital. She said yes. OMG, i can't imagine marrying someone like that who would leave them all in there to take care of themselves. Thank God Patricia wasn't a SELFISH S.O.B. like Jamie was and stayed to take care of her babies.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Nik

      Please have some respect for the legal system that we have in place. Once it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, I'm sure he'll get what's coming to him.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • asdasda

      Looks like PAM is Jamies Ex. I mean who leaves such a stupid comment as yours? How much do you hate yourself that youre trying to bring someone down to your level so you arent so lonely?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      I agree with Pam. That "man" is a selfish POS. A teenage girl stayed with her best friend because she was shot in the neck. Saved the girls life, and this "man" couldnt even grab his 4 month old child before he ran out AND DROVE HOME. He is a waste of life...

      July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    they did not wish to be disturbed "at the time of this tragic event." I'd say the son is disturbed enough for all of them. The Mother was not even surprised when she found out. She obviously knew her kid was cracked.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • JennM

      Why she didn't she say anything or do something.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      That's an unfair assessment.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Al

    Not guilty due to insanity. Easy open and shut case.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • julie

      Definitely not insane at time of crime. Premeditation and deliberation is obvious. Things like purchasing a ticket...opening exit door...changing clothes etc are all acts that go against an insanity plea. His only hope is a judge finds him incompetent to actually stand trial which is very difficult given his mental state just days ago with the booby trapping etc

      July 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Shay

      Insane because he is white-right? Nah-he asked for a lawyer-he is SANE-if it had been any other race you'd be asking for the chair!!!!! SMDH at you "real crazies" #whohidebehindcomputerscreensandspewbullsh!t

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • A

      Please read the definition of a guilty by reason of insanity plea before you comment with such ignorance.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      He dyed his hair orange so that it appears to he is the Joker (or some super-villian) giving his rich parents a legal way to get him off the hook. The question is, how does society get back at him and his parents for spawning this monster onto us?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • something

      not exactly... insanity is a mitigating factor. It would lessen the punishment, not absolve him completely.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bob

    So much time and tax payer money gone to waste with this trial. They should have shot him on the spot. Now these victims and their families will have to see this in the news for the next 2-3 years. Its obvious he is guilty. Swift justice. Hang him in the middle of town

    July 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob1

      Agree 100%......

      July 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Nik

      You would have fit right in during the 1600's.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris_82

      You'd be given him what he wants. Rotting away for decades as the 23 hour days in solitary confinement tick by sounds much more punishing then a relatively quick and peaceful death with the accompanying media spectacle of his execution.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Killing him does no good. I say forced labor in the worst conditions possible for people like this.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Oh yeah...freakin brilliant. Shoot someone after they have surrendered. You know what happens then? We won't be able to get anyone to surrender. Ever been shot at? Then shut your mouth.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Informed

      Ah, yes, six gun justice. He is guilty for sure, but we must allow the rule of law to take its course otherwise we are no better than those butchers in Syria.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Wombat

      So agree with you. Public shootings are not so rare anymore....let's make an example out of this a$$ clown so other copy cats watching at home maybe will think twice about bringing a gun to a school, mall, theater or other public places. This guy is SICK!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Elle

      I completely agree. Someone read him his rights. Hopefully he'll accept Christ. And then put him in front of a firing squad.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Hagerstrom

      I could not agree more.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Grant23

      There hasn't been a trial, yet. This only just happened Friday, and he is only appearing in court for the first time today.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      to make matter worse, it will be determined after 2 years of trials or how ever long it takes, to conclude that he is insane. His parents will hug and be happy "see, i told you my little honey didnt do it, it was brain disease". Meanwhile, the parents of all those that died will wither in pain knowing that they lost everything while this monster gets off on insanity and his parents smile and hug knowing that it was not their precious baby that did this, but brain disease.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob1

    Hang him. He didn't care about human rights, he doesn't get any either. Enough being soft on criminals, specially mass murderers.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. the DK

    Hope the firing squad unleashes on him like he unleashed on unarmed innocent people.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    Now you can make a media star out of him and that's what these nuts want.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dr. Kathy Seifert

    IS HEALING AND FORGIVENESS POSSIBLE IN COLORADO SHOOTINGS

    Forgiveness is an interesting concept. There is some evidence that forgiveness is associated with better health for the person doing the forgiving, while harboring hate and anger is stressful if carried for an extensive period of time. However, this is only after a period of grieving has taken place. Although difficult forgiveness is very important.

    Dr. Kathy Seifert
    Psychologist and author of How Children Become Violent

    July 23, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • USAP

      Thank you,

      July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Elle

      I completely agree with you Dr.
      But even in the Bible, a person will eventually reap what they sow.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • nafis

      the guy is a terrorist. im not sure when the last time is we forgave a terrorist. just saying.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      You know, I've never met a psychologist who wasn't virtually a patient themselves. Tell me: what color is the sky in your world?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jaysfan

    i hope they give him the death penalty by firing squad

    July 23, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. USAP

    Folks, get over it. We generated this violent behavior by allowing it in our children.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Wombat

      Good idea....let's just "get over" that this a$$ clown killed 12 people and injured many others because children these days are hopeless. There are a LOT of good kids out there . Too many nut bags get their hands on things they shouldn't have and things like this happen. They are not scared anymore. It's time to WAKE UP!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • watergirl

      Look at how many children were at a PG 13 midnight showing of a movie.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. johnny

    he is heavily sedated.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. The truth

    Why are they still calling this dumba$$ a suspect? Are they not sure it's him? It makes no sense

    July 23, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • gautsch

      Well you see...in America...Land of the Free...everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Just one of our many rights.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Cheney

      Because all Americans, even the worst of us, have other rights besides the right to amass stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, like the right to due process.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Informed

      Go read a law book. Someone is considered a suspect until they are successfully convicted. Otherwise where is the justice.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Michael

    You should change your slogan on your money to: In guns we trust..............................................

    July 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. johnny

    his hair looks really ridiculous. lmao

    July 23, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. cali girl

    He looks like he is about to fall over. And also looks detached from whatever his reality is. I think he should be put in a room with no windows and let the victims families all have a turn with him.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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