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. drunkin mom

    Poor guy, hopefully he gets the counseling he needs now.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • nolongerarepublican

      And the medication, an injection if you know what I mean.
      It's the ultimate cure.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. truefax

    If they don't put him on death row, he'll be getting some action at least.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. jackybb94

    Send him to the army to test chemical and biological weapons on him till he dies. Make use of him

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. JC

    Insanity won't work. There's been too much preparation. We can't call this terrorism, because terrorism is defined as a crime against innocents for the purpose of making a political point. There's nothing political about desiring personal infamy. This boy won't be spending life in prison; the feds will want him for the deaths of US troops, and they will seek the death penalty. The police there would have done everyone a favor by taking care of him at the theater; you don't detain a rabid dog, you shoot him. Strangely, I feel sorry for his lawyer; she has that look on her face like her hands will never come clean, no matter how much she washes them.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rae Ann Pointer

    This has been a horrible tragedy. I think about what we as Americans could have done to prevent it. The thing that comes to mind which no one ever mentions is this: why don't we, as individuals, ever reach out to the loners and pull them out of their shell? Maybe people like this guy are too afraid to make friends. Maybe we are too afraid to pull them out. "Hey buddy, some friends and I are going to the beach to have a few beers...some girls from the school will be there...don't worry about studying tonight bro...balance the other side of your brain....allright, we'll pick you up at 8 P.M....."

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Seth

    Poor guy! After the traumatic event he has been through I hope he gets the psychologicial evaluation and emotional support he needs to get back on track and complete his studies for his doctorate. I'm sure he'll be well taken care of.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • nolongerarepublican

      And with all those book and movie deals, he will be a multi millionaire.
      Who says crime does not pay?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rae Ann Pointer

      Distinguish the difference between the before and the after stupid.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JDinHouston

    In a word – YIKES!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. christiem8

    What a troubled look.....

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    It's obvious that he was sedated. . . heavily.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    They Should Give Him The Chair, And Torture Him For The Rest Of His Life Just Like all The Other Terrorist

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jillian Ross

    I hope that all this media attention does not attract anymore sick people to do the same thing.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. MD

    Any thoughts on how much time this freak show spent playing violent video games?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • nolongerarepublican

      Shhhhhhhhh! That's a multi billion dollar business, wealthy people make a lot of money off violent video games.
      Don't point your finger at the REAL cause.
      Hush your mouth.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Fred

    His expression makes me wonder about SNRI's. They have severe withdrawal symptoms, he looks like someone in withdrawal from something.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jefflazrn

      To me he looks like someone trying to look crazy.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • woodofpine

      Thank you doctor, your diagnostic methodology is impeccable.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Citizen

      I think the signs were there for a long time that this young man was dysfunctional. I wonder were there ever any attempts to get him some psychological evualtions or was it just thought because he was so smart, he was eccentric ? I realize that what he did elicits a black and white response but, I sure would like to know more of the background. Such as, has he shown signs of schizophrenia (?), etc.......

      I have prayed for the victims families, as well as, this young mans family. A tragedy all the way around.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bill

    I wish I could say this Joker is a joke or funny, but in this case I cannot. I would go on record that he will probably be found insane

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. MD

    He should be dead already. Swift justice would be a lot better than all of this legal wrangling. Take his statements, then take his life – violently.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
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