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. Irony

    I really feel sorry for this guy's lawyer. Either she's on someone's sh!# list at the public defender's office, or she REALLY drew the short straw.

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

    He could be dazed because he's drugged or because he's a homicidal maniac who doesn't give a fccccck

    July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • doodlebug2222

      No it's an act – there are a few fleeting moments of clarity. This is a cold calculated murderer, and he is acting the part of someone that is out of his head or drugged up – except – his shoulders are rigid and unmoving with his facial features too exaggerated. Remember, he knows the mind and he would like us to think he was .. as he is here. But those people that he maimed and murdered – saw someone that was deliberate, in control and decisive.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. isaac james

    Wow so sad,lost for words

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

    I am wondering who the lady sitting next to him was. I seen his lawyers sitting on the other side of the podum

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

    The best we can hope for now is a quick trial and lock him away where no one ever hears his name again, not even when he dies.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the Riddler

    what a moron!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. marjee123

    He acts like he is half asleep. And he certainly shows no signs of caring anything about what the court is saying.

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

    Has anyone even thought that he is playing up being/looking crazy in the courtroom so that it helps his case in an insanity plea?? Plus he was acting all crazy inside his cell, spitting and doing all kinds of crazy things. This guy is smart, don't put it past him that he is playing every one so everything plays out in his favor...

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

    This guy is a nut job- a waste of tax payers money- I am tired of supporting evil people- Let them ask for forgiveness and then let them meet their maker-

    and SCREW YOU Mr. Billy "Pelosi"- You are an idiot if you think this is the fault of the Republicans or the NRA- Let's control our borders so we can have GUN CONTROL- and point your little finger at the good ole Democrats for not wanting to contribute to that cause-

    July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    This dude is acting to get an insanity defense.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. christopher barson

    disgustingly sad

    July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    That kid was drugged for sure. Just his facial expressions were that of a drugged person...even his head bobbed a couple of times. what was up with that?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • riamb60

      I don't think they are allowed to drug him , not until he is charged.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Anne

    this is EVIL in its finest. Nothing says we have to love EVIL. As far as my tax dollars paying for his food, clothes, air.....no thanks! We have innocent humans and children that need our tax dollars. This EVIL will meet his maker, hope sooner than later and I am sure we all know what his fate will be.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sir To You

      You pay taxes in Colorado?

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

      It costs more to kill him than to feed him.

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

      "will meet his maker, hope sooner than later" – I think he met his parents already.

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

      Evil comes in all forms and colors...........in this case orange. Isn't it a great thing that although he is white that all of the white Caucasian race doesn't have to be blamed for his his crimes unlike some other races. Justice will be done and never ever forget no matter race, color or creed evil is evil.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Capt. F4RT

    Electric chair!!! Make him choke on his tongue!!! Make him CR4P his pants!!!

    Stupid moron! He'll try to plead insanity... BS!!!

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

      humans are all "crazy", some people just act on it while others wont even say a word. why give him the easy way out with the death penalty, bring back stoning for people convicted of crimes like this! If they make others suffer why should be take the easy way out before their death, make them pay.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kevin

    I have a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) and THIS is the reason I carry my weapon. Do you think this idiot would have opened fire a room full of armed police officers? Of course not. He is an evil coward. Everyone who is of legal age should get a handgun license and learn how to use your weapon. There is an old saying that "when seconds matter, the police are only minutes away". In my opinion, the world would be a safer place if more people were trained in how to use a handgun and carried their weapon. I think this story would have turned out much differently if 10 or 15 people in that movie theater had a concealed handgun. Yes it is true that the suspect had body armor but I think he would have turned and ran away if people started shooting back at him.

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

      I am a gun owner also but I don't think 10 or 15 people with handguns blazing away in a dark movie theater would have helped anything.

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

      Let's run with your suggestion, and here's what would have happened. Some yahoo in the theater who can't leave the house without his gun, most likely because he feels inferior about his manhood, stands up to shoot at the shooter. As he squeezes off a shot an innocent stands up to flee, and pow, gets shot in the head by the yahoo. Then another yahoo sees the second gunman and shoots him believing he's an accomplice. Pretty soon more innocents are being shot because of poor judgement. Remember, they were in a dark room. Think before you post.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So you would open fire in a dark smoke filled room hoping you you hit the right person?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Holden

      Or maybe it wouldn't have happened if morons like you were not allowed to own assault riffles. These events do not take place in countries with strict gun control.

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

      I could just see a theater full of halfwitted teenagers opening fire all at once trying to shoot that guy.

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

      I agree that people should strongly consider getting a concealed carry license, but in this particular case... in a dark theater with smoke filling the room, had multiple people had guns they would probably just be shooting whenever they saw flashes and more people could've potentially been shot. If it was well lit then sure, but there would be potential for more casualties in this case... Also, they don't let you actually have guns in the theaters, licensed or not.

      You just can't stop this stuff from happening unfortunately.

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

      You are kidding right ? A dark, smoke filled theater with a guy wearing body armor, many more people would have died (probably by shooting each other). Give it a rest John Wayne.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      And would have happened when thos 10 – 15 "trained" civilians had started firing back and even more people had been shot and possily killed by "friendly" fire. "Oops, sorry I shot you. I was aiming for the psycho but you got int the way. But it's ok, cuz I'm "trained."

      How stupid.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Huh?? everyone should be armed??? I think you need to check out the mental state of every person who is going to have a weapon...the reality is their are plenty of nutjobs out there who would love to be able to get their hands on weapons. You also need to realize that if everyone had a gun, the person who wants to commit the crime will escalate his weaponry to commit the ultimate objective.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vegasjim

      You are right Kevin. Here is an example– Gun Ownership Mandatory In Kennesaw, Georgia - Crime Rate Plummets. The full article is– http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1818862/posts

      July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • You're right

      But all we will hear is "I don't think that more guns is the answer!" in a condescending tone of voice. Few people will look at the logic and research of gun ownership.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      Don't forget the tear gas. Officers said that they had to wait for masks because their eyes and throats were burning. Even they weren't willing to go in there and shoot blindly. 10-12 people in a dark room effected by gas carrying concealed weapons? Put down the Dirty Harry DVD.

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

      I am pro gun and have my concealed carry permit as well. However, in this situation with full body armor, carrying 10 rounds of 9MM, I would have been killed standing my ground and trying to take him on with the fire power he was carrying. This is a sad and tragic event and my heart goes out to all of the victims. This should not become an example to ban guns, he would have figured out some way to execute this even if he did not have access to guns.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • NO NRA

      Guns should be banned. Encouraging everyone to have a gun is taking us back tot he wild west. That is not the time we live anymore! Right to bear arms was established for life in the 1700's, 1800's! There is no need for this now. Can you imagine how many club fights would turn into gun fights with innocent bystanders paying the price! How can you morally ask for everyone to start carrying a gun. You are clearly an extreme right republican, probably a liberaterian who is holding on to ideas that are outdated for 2012. Of course, no one will ever change your mind, that is the sad part.

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

      Funny people think having a gun will save the day. I used to think that way. I've been robbed at gunpoint twice, and I had a gun. The fact is unless you're ready at all times with your gun ready, they'll always have the advantage of suprise and they won't give you time to reach for your weapon. At that point it's too late.....You're not that quick. I wasn't either and I'm a damn good shot. It takes a second for your mind to process whats going on, by that time it's too late.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      If ten or fifteen more people had guns.... it would have turned into a shoot out at the theater. So someone has a gun and is shooting people. You pull your weapon, and meanwhile someone else has pulled their weapon and then another guy and then another guy and then another guy. Ok... you don't know who has fired the shots, what if this guy was dressed in khaki pants and a polo shirt? What if you saw someone that looked like a gang banger... who would you have "assisted" in that situation? Everyone running around with guns scares me.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • darren

      Kevin, bad guys can get a CHL too. What are the odds that someone with a gun will be there to stop them when they fly off the handle?

      How many times have you used your handgun outside of the range?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49