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. Carol

    Tax dollars should not be going towards this blatantly guilty person. The $ should go to all the victims that will need mental and physical help getting through this and all the families that have to now pay for funerals.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anti

    To hell with the bill of rights. No more gun rights. No more "No Cruel and Unusual Punishments"
    Hang him on a cross for a week.
    A short quick death will not justify the life of 12 people

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. real american

    MK ultra-- ?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Peter

    We should love this man. 'Love your enemies and pray for them.' Even the pagans love those who are kind to them. God still loves him and so should we. 'Where there is hatred, let me sew love.' St. Francis 'Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.' – Jesus dying on the cross.

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

      I can pray for his soul, but I can't "love him" like God does (besides, God doesn't expect us humans to be quite as loving and forgiving as He.....after all, we're only human). I hate his actions, and therefore have to say that he is not safe to be out in public....ever again....period.

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

      There is no God. You are delusional to think that. When I use to attend church, their motto was "God is good all the time". Is he really? Tell that to the family of the victims especially the parents of the 6 year old.
      If there was a God, why hasn't he intervened if he's the so called omnipotent God? Because it's all part of his divine plan? Where the corrupt people live happily and where the powerless (poor and weak) suffer all the consequences?
      Tell your God he's doing a cruddy job. Might as well pray about it too right? because that has always worked out for all Christians. Wake up.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OSAMA

    LMAO.. wats funny is that.. no1 considered him a terrorist.. like he didn't terrorize all those people... o america.. how u make me laugh...

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

      What he did was "terrible." But terrorism is defined as a specific type of crime. Just as there are different levels of killing someone. From vehicular homicide to manslaughter to first degree murder.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike English

      Dont you realize that terrorists only come from Middle Eastern Countries. How dare you accuse an American Born Citizen of being a terriorist. lmao......i feel very bad for the future of this poor country

      July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. john

    Put him in the middle of town, put on some Pantera "Five Minutes Alone" and justice shall be served

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

      John:
      Amen brother! your idea is the most appropriate one posted thus far...

      July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike johnson

    What an act put on buy this guy..

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. KJ

    The death penalty is getting off easy. All he has to do is ask forgiveness and he has a one way ticket to heaven.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  9. ozovehe

    I wish he would have shot dead too at the venue. And i hope this will be, one big leason the Americans will learn over legalization of weapons.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. revelations 13:7

    yeah... he certainly doesn't look brain-washed//drugged... nope, not at all

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

    Come on.... he knows exactly how he is acting. So embarrassed for everyone acting like his is on Meds, talking about his demeanor. Stating he is in shock about what he is up against. Please.... Please....he is loving every songle minute if this exposer. Typical loser, guarantee he acted just like that sitting in Highschool like he is to cool to be paying attention. What a loser!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • sixbillion1

      Mary you have hit the nail directly on it's head. I totally agree with you. He's not crazy. He knows exactly what he has done and is enjoying every bit of it. He's got the entire public and justice system playing right in the palm of his hands.
      What a damn shame.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike the electrician.

    That court appearance and knowing he will be in a 6 x 8 cell certainly wiped his grin off his face!!, Dennis, millions of people watch Batman, Rambo, etc. and don't go and buy hundreds of rounds of ammo. And those who say if they only had a gun they would have taken this guy out. 1) the movie was showing, therefore it was dark, 2) smoke from the gas canisters was filling the air, 3) people were fleeing and scrambing around in mass chaos. More likely, the cross fire would have killed or injured more people.

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

    You people crying "mental illness" and demanding sympathy for this guy are the ones who need to wake up. A mentally ill person talks to their imaginary friends. A mentally ill person watches purple elephants fly around the room. A mentally ill person thinks a carrot is channeling the spirit of his departed pet bunny.

    This man deserves no pity or compassion. His victims do. The only mercy he should be shown is a quick execution.

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

      The guy is obviously mentally ill and will get life.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Let him go the way his victums, a firering quad with multiple people firering and a slow death. Make other people think twice before doing something stupid like this. Lets make an exaple out of him.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nat Q

      I don't think it is that clear cut, HOWEVER...given what we do know so far about his detailed, thorough, and prolonged pre-planning (over a period of months), a mentally ill defense seems like it would be much harder to mount. Besides the fact that "mentally ill" defenses actually are NOT used all that often for a variety of reasons, when they are used it is usually around acts that occur within a relatively localized period of time. I'd be willing to say with 95% certainty that his lawyer will not pursue an insanity defense.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Actually, a typical individual with a mental illness does not have the symptoms you're describing. He obviously is mentally ill, or he never would have committed this crime. That doesn't mean the guy deserves some kind of "break." He's simply not the kind of guy you ever want back out on the streets. If he was a Ph.D. candidate a few months ago, chances are he made a rational decision to do this to fulfill some sick desire he has. Now, he's obviously intelligent and he's "playing his cards right" to ensure he gets the lightest penalty possible. No matter how crazy he acts (and is), I dont think you'll find a jury who will buy the temporary insanity argument. He's going away.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • watergirl

      This is why mental illness is so rampant and people go untreated, morons like you don't have the firt clue of what it s.

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

      I agree with everything you're saying except for the mercy portion. There is truly no punishment that can be deemed adequate for such a heinous act. It is impossible to have the lives of the victims brought back and equally impossible to have the lives of the families returned to normal. The only punishment that would be adequate under U.S. Law and deemed to be humane in our country is solitary confinement for life. Social interaction is a necessity for human beings, without it we become highly depressed, lose sight of who we are, and experience a feeling of complete loss. The families of the victims have to endure the rest of their lives with feeling of loss and lack of closure, the least we can do for them is to make sure Mr. Holmes has a similar feeling. I wish the best to all the families dealing with this horrific event, stay strong!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Russ

    What a loser. He looks like a billboard proclaiming. I'm F**d UP!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. amanda

    It seems to me that a trained psychologist would have a lot more insight about what is going on in this guy's head. Why is CNN speculating about him being tired? He looks like he's having a manic episode- can we please hear from a professional analyst here?

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

      ." Why is CNN speculating about him being tired? He looks like he's having a manic episode"

      That too is a speculation.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
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