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. Laura

    Has anyone ever thought that maybe this guy is schizophrenic and that is why he did his studies in the field of neurology? These people have no control over their minds, if they are truly schizo. If that is the case, it's a shame that no one could help this guy to prevent his actions.

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

      Sure, nobody noticed while he was going to school – must be we have some pretty wierd people attending school now days. A guy his age and the orange hair might trgger some concerns.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SSampson

      I agree – – it does sound like a mental disorder.... not that this helps the victims....But perhaps being able to help those with mental illness would also aid in prevention of these crimes....

      Most people don't buy into mental illness for the same reasons that we once had difficulty understanding that the world was round.... it didn't make sense – we can see a broken arm or leg – we can see cancer.... but we can't see or understand the complex chemical balance in the brain, and as such we tend to ignore the illness....

      July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. levi

    When he is convicted and sent to prison with bubba it will be 'Joker meets Poker"

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

    hahaha he looks like a sad clown. he's not the joker, the joker had green hair! he's a idiot and deserves everything coming to him! i feel bad for the people who got shot or died in this mess.

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

    His hair was dyed before he killed people

    July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. K Young

    I'm sorry but our justice system is BS I understand innocent until proven guilty but if caught red handed what is the point of a trial and stop calling him a freaking "suspect" and using words like "accused". This IDOT did the crime and should not be given a lawyer to try to lesson his punishment. Its a reason in the Mid eastern they do suicide killings and it's because if they are caught they will wish they was dead or in fact be put to dealth swiftly. No need to waste our tax dollars for yearsssss on this peice of crap person. And screw what Meds he was on if any it NO excuse for this BS

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

      K Young – Yes you idiot, lets be like Syria?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • watergirl

      Not a single victim could identify him. It is not as open and closed as you think.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wenmichimar

    This is a terrorist – what he did was considered a terrorist act. The media should be calling him one. My guess is that he's not arab? I agree with andyoo – tax payers money will be wasted on this guy – He should go straighht to the death chamber

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chrisie

    Here we go again–the killer get's all the publicity-and the victims? I no longer want to hear about this whatever he is–or what color the idiots hair is, or anything to do with him–just throw him in a cell and throw away the key and let's get the victims help to start to heal from this–let's do good things for the victims-this guy can rot in his cell!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Roboy

    So here we go again, a person with people all around, plans this and executes a dozen people buys all the material and NOBODY notices and now I am crazy forgive me. That puts pretty cheap price on the people he hurt and killed.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Crystal

    Even if this psycho gets the death penalty he will have atleast 20 years to sit and think about what he did and how he will be going to hell and hopefully have his a** handed to him in prison. This guy had everything and destroyed not only 51+ peoples lives, but his own. I hope he does get the death penalty, he would have made it easier and cheaper on everyone if he would have just taken himself out. It's a sad deal and my heart goes out to every single one of the families and victims. This guy got what he wanted and that was to have his miserible face on t.v. he wanted attention and for everyone to know that he was a genius. Look at him looking sad and miserible, he doesn't regreat what he did one bit, so why should anyone feel sorry for this psycho, he knew 100% of what he was doing and to try to plead insanity is a joke.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    This Colorado killer was NOT born that way.
    BIG MONSTERS make little monsters take antidepressants RATHER than spending the time and energy required to deal with abused children who suffer from chronic depression.
    The cause of the Columbine shootings was antidepressant abuse, NOT "PROBLEM CHILD" labels.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • LEARN ENGLISH GRMAMMAR

      *were not

      July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      This guy of course is not normal. He has some sort of psychological problems that have not been divulged by anyone prior to the killings. No person in their right mind kills in such a massive scale and doesn't even know whom they are killing. Yes, it was ruthless to kill, but also ruthless that no one had tried to help this guy. We wouldn't be on this blog if something was detected and helped. This could be anyone's child, born with psychological problems. Very sad for all.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pj77

    All news outlets should stop using his name and stop showing his face. He deserves to be forgotten. He should be referred to as "the suspect" and later as "the murderer of 12 innocent people".

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. mR BoJaNgLeS DaNcE

    Looks like Ronald McDonald without the clown face makeup. LOL

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. RicKC

    Those of you that seem to believe that he should get life in prison so he can 'think' about what he did need to start thinking yourselves. He already thought about what he did, he executed it, didn't he?

    He will not spend the rest of his life 'tormented' by what he did. Sure, there are worst punishments than death but sitting in prison watching cable tv with 3 meals a day and visits from family sure isn't one of them.

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

      The death sentence is not a punishment...it is a solution.

      And should be carried ouy 30-minutes not 30-years later.

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

      His rich parents will get him off on insanity so they can feel good about themselves. "Our poor little boy didnt kill all those people, it was brain disease. Ahh, I feel so much better now that he is insane. Honey, pass the croissant and lets make sure to order filet mignon tonight. Lets go on vacation to get away, especially now that we will use our money to get him off on insanity."

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Orlando

      *worse

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • g

      they get 2 meals a day and 2 channels over the air.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. magnus

    To think that this low-life disgusting loser could destroy so many families is heart-wrenching. I want to see him tortured every single day of his life.

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

      You are depraved.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kwon

    Well as a 21 year old i have to say, schizo is something i don't think he has, but he seems to think he is really in the movie batman, i heard on tv he spat at guards. i mean look he colored his hair orange, which was a fail, it was green, but thats not the point for this chuckie look alike, what i am trying to say is if we help him get better, are we saying anyone can get away with killing even when they play the crazy card. in court he seemed like he did not know what was going on. he cant be a pshyco cause he was in the right mind when he ordered all the crap he used. and this is not a joke i take this situation seriously. JENNIFER – REALITY JUST PUNCHED HIM IN THE F'N FACE . it's not the country, USA has freedoms others don't, it is just most people. AS LONG AS THHEY DON'T CONNECT THIS TO CALL OF DUTY. on the news they keep bringing up columbine.

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