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. the Riddler

    just put him in with general population, they will take care of this fool!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. mike johnson

    what an act !!!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Steve, New York City

    Thank you NRA, for (once again) dictating policies that provide the criminally insane with easy access to assault weapons (Aurora, Gabrielle Gifford's campaign event, Virginia Tech).

    Who said that they're suprised another gun owner didn't get up and shoot him? Does that person still think that we live in the wild west? I guess that's what happens when stupid people / heartless lobbyists craft policy.

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

      AR-15 is not an assault weapon. Do your homework if you are going to post.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sandy

    What were the specific motions that were filed? is the text available? What was the one about "expanded media" about? Will there continue to be cameras in the courtroom?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    If he was mentally ill, how could been planning this and calculated his approach to the massacure so nicely. It was deliberately done and well planned. Sick as it was, he knew what he was doing and booby trapped his appartment as well. When he was finally caught and arrested he even looked happy with himself. I hope he gets what is coming to him.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. some guy

    I have a feeling this guy has a very strong condition of Schizophrenia, Im not a doctor. And i think he purposely made himself into a schizophrenic , through some sort of self hypnotized or drug induced regimen'. Its not like a rage shooting where the vioklence was burst but rather a systematic,deliberate and criminally genius effort done over a long period of time, all during when he was in his state of an 'alter ego'. The alter ego does all wrong things and his original personality is scared and almost like a slave to the other.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. eastsidedude

    Insanity will not fly. Nobody insane can plan and execute something like this. He was sane, and very smart. Just so nuts that squirrels probably follow him around. I got to believe he had planned to kill himself too the way he booby trapped the apartment to destroy any evidence. Body armor, gas mask, this was military precision at work. You use tear gas to cause a commotion and then when people are up and moving you open fire. He is not insane.

    1st degree (premeditated) Murder x12 = death penalty. I just hope the civil rights nuts don't start with the appeals to "defend his civil rights". You lose your civil rights when you become uncivil.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Teed

      eastsidedude, "Insanity will not fly."_____________________ You're wrong. He won't get and does not deserve death.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jimmy Johnson

    Hopefully he'll also be charged as a domestic terrorist. To me, that's a terrorist attack....

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sarah failin

    Off with his orange head!! – satan palin and john mcpain supporter

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. FISH FRY

    To the prosecutors: please don't eff this up. I don't want to see him getting life, and after 5 years appearing on 60 Minutes jail interview telling everyone how sorry he is, how he was molested as a child or bullied in school that drove him to the shootings. He's sane and he will be dead.

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

    i honestly do not believe in the death penalty.. but what i do believe in is making him suffer for the things he did. he should sit in prison for the rest of his life. God will take care of him in the end. and i pray for the victims and the families of this massacre. he will get his one way or another.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    For the person that said "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord."... that's just your opinion, because you believe in a higher power. I personally don't believe in a higher power. So I say kill him. It takes one bullet. Done. No tax money beyond one bullet and a few minutes time then off to the incinerator. Vengeance is ours!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. revelations 13:7

    MK ultra and project northwoods pretty much explain how this country gets agenda policies off and rolling

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • revelations 13:7

      brain-washed patsy.... if this isn't the face of brain-washing, then what is?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • dcase20

      I knew it would not be long before the whack-jobs came out. Are you saying that the govt. did this just to take your gun away?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ralf

    "Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday." – Terrible writing.
    It sounds like Mr. Holmes was having his hair done while in the courtroom.
    CNN, can't you do better than this?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • revelations 13:7

      of course not, it's mainstream news.... dumbed down and easy to digest, leave all critical thinking skills at the door

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen

    The real question is HOW is is sooooo easy for anyone to get assault rifles and so much ammo online? Like buying a lap on Ebay. Unbelievable.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Collin

      It is necessary to do a background check. He passed because he had no criminal history.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
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