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. nightsun2k7

    Where did he get the money to pay for and get his hair dyed in prison?

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

      This was his hair during the shooting. He did it to look like the Joker

      July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fiona

    He appears to be medicated...or perhaps off his meds?

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

      I don't think he was ever diagnosed as mentally ill. So, no meds.

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

      The facility were he is held can decide if medications are needed or not. They have a doctor/ nurse on duty at all times, who can make a suggestion on what is needed at the time. I wonder if he had a problem sleeping and they gave him some sleeping medication, or they could have given him something to settle him down, so he can be aware of what is going

      July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bane


    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marcella

    Why is his hair orange? Why was it dyed?

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

      He died his hair so he can look like the Joker. Did you not follow any of the story?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gregory Faith

    Man, this is going to DRAG ON for years!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    He's faking.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    If "this dude" was under the influence of mind altering pharmaceuticals, he was insane. Sheesh.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael in Houston

    I find it a bit hard to believe that a guy capable of the planning of this act as well as the intricate and complex bomb set up at his apartment is as loopy as he appears in the courtroom a few minutes ago. His expression and demeanor appear very contrived.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. V.P.

    Wow, "if he is found guilty." America needs to tighten up on these criminals! By the way this coward looks like a true fool.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Terry

    Get a rope! He has no right to a fair trial, he has no right to a life sentence, he took that right away when he took the lives of innocent children, young men and women. I'm sick of our justice system, thousands of dollars will be spent for his defense, why? He did it...string him up and send him straight to HELL!

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

      I personally think that life in prison is worse than the death penalty.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob

    Wow. Ronald McDonald finally went crazy.

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

    Witty comment.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sara

    mr. holmes... crazy like a fox?...

    July 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sheryl

    I'm not trying to make anyone feel sorry for him but he is obviously mentally ill. He has just had his first psychotic break. So tragic. He will be diagnosed as having acute paranoid schizophrenia and will spend the rest of his life afraid of the monster that lives inside of him. Thank God he told the officers he had booby-trapped his apartment; a moment of lucidity.

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

      Actually, he told them there were explosives at his apartment, NOT that it was booby-trapped.

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

      Here is your typical Occupy Wall St.member.Just like the kid who tried to off Gabby Gifford.May I suggest jail time for the parents if they turned their backs on abherrent behavior by Junoir>

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

      These psychiatric observations, evaluation and diagnosis can be made without ever interviewing the patient? Holy crap, you're good, and without the credentials to boot!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Z_2k

    Consider the book and movie "A Beautiful Mind", and what can happen inside the mind of a genius. I abhore the actions of this individual, and certainly don't want to make up trivial excuses for it. But it's possible that the rigors of his education and other stresses may have casued his mind to go. Just as John Nash truely believed the fantasy of where his mind took him, likewise Holmes' mind may have also gone, and may still be, in some psychotic fantasy world which to him seems a reality.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • REALLY!?!

      He's not Nash. He was a hard working student at a low end school associated with UC. He's not a genius. He's a nut. HE's a loser. And he's not very good at coordination.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z_2k


      He's not Nash.>Of course he's' not, nor are you or I.
      He was a hard working student .... > I'd say this guy is also a hard working student given his academic record.
      He's not a genius.> Who's to say ? Certainly not you, or I. But one doesn't have to be a genius to flip-out.
      He's a nut. > Odd, perhaps. Withdrawn, anti-social, etc., etc. But is that uncommon ?
      HE's a loser.> In your HUMBLE opinion, perhaps.
      And he's not very good at coordination. > How did you determine this ? Do you mean he can't catch a baseball, or through darts accurately, or touch the tip of his nose with his forefinger, or juggle ?

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