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. jefflazrn

    Look at the picture closely. This is what a monster looks like.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cleavette Brown

    Where is the outcry for this guy being a "Terrorist"? This is exactly what he has done and I do believe he is and american.

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

      Fine he is a terrorists.....put him to death already

      July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. one time republican

    Digital. It is my dearest wish that a tragedy like this doesn't happen to you or someone you love or care about. What a cold and senseless comment. And if it were too, I hope someone shows you more compassion than you have displayed.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Emm Effer

    To me, he looks like he is ready to cry. Maybe it is setting in, what he did and how horrible it was.

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

    He looks crazy? As a clinical psychologist I have evaluated dozens of juvenile murderers, and none were crazy. All of them were violent, obviously. Mental illness in not a defense in criminal law or we would be saying that anyone with a psychiatrist diagnosis could do as they please. We have the McNaughton rule. They have to be so psychotic that they don't know that what they did was against the law. An insanity defense is really used because they almost never succeed.

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

      You are a clinical psychologist but you have problems forming a correct complete sentence? May God help whoever you ever evaluated.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. killdozer

    I didnt think americans have a courts any more. I thought they just execute them with drones.

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

    You have to remember that he has studied many courses involving diseases of the mind. Looks like he is going for an insanity plea and playing the part.

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

    selfishi hope he gets AIDS in prison so he can feel a little pain himself. Make him talk by waterboarding. Let each family member shoot him once a year with a 22 for all the times their loved ones were shot Hands, feet,. Let him know what pain is. Ban assault weapons AND violent video games etc.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. BS

    News does US a disservice when events like these are over-reported and dramamtized.
    Like the Colubine school murders. Hardly any know that antidepressant abuse (doktors who prescribe short-term use only drugs for long terms, for profit)
    The news catered to those arguing gun control, when those kids were spun on antidepressants.
    So they chose a gun this time. What of the thousands of cases where they chose a hammer or a pair of scissors, a knife or even their own teeth?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • soule

      ... Theres room for two discussions, you know. The gun debate and mental health debate will both ignite over this.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. Allegra

    Now that's one wholesome looking individual . . .

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

    Shoot him right between the eyes and move on with life.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. taxedmore

    Judge – remember to be nice to him. After all, he is only a suspect. The alleged victims are only allegedly dead. He has his rights. He may have some needs. Looks like he is having a bad hair day, you have to take that into consideration. Do whatever you can to make sure he is comfortable and that the taxpayers really get hosed.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Return to God

    The question is why he has not been labeled a terrorist yet? oh who I fogot, that term applys ONLY to Muslims..,or may be because he is white man wth orange hair. Bravo

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Because there is no reason so far to label him a terrorist.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • coloradom

      I wouldn't be surprised if the US Attorney General gets involved and does charge him with a terrorist act. It all depends on the State of Colorado and whether or not the Feds get involved. My guess is that they will look at the case and decide.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      His is a terrorist just like Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols are terrorists and every other person who maliciously planned and proceeded with an attack against innocent people.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Faheem

    Just one question. Why is he not called a terrorist or his actions called a terrorist act? Is it because he is not a Muslim? I am convinced that if he was a Muslim man CNN would have called this a cowardly act of terrorism ( which it is no matter who does it) and branded him a Islamic terrorist!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake


      He didn't have a religious or social motive. He didn't kill in the name of god or politics. Anyway, we don't even know what his motives were. Get over your bullsh!t man and stop pointing fingers

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      As far as I'm concerned, anyone who plans and carries out an attack against a group of innocent, unsuspecting, unarmed people regardless of who the victims are or for whatever reason the attack was formulated is a terrorist.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jack 63

    Looks like he's trying for an insanity plea with the way he's acting.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Reason & Logic

      He's medicated.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
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