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. Eye P. Freaky

    What a freak!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steven

    A tragic event for sure. I feel for the victims, their families and friends. Also, for the friends and family of the suspect. while I (like most people) do not have a connection with this case, I do not wish him the death penalty. That will solve nothing but satisfy someone's blood lust, which is unfortunate considering we pride our-self on being an an advanced and noble society. I hope we can extract something about the details of his motive and possibly use it to help prevent a future incident such as this.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Southern Guy

      He had some blood lust himself. He deserves to die, and to see it coming.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      He brought shame among his family. He thought of noone else but himself and his self gratification. What was he thinking? How did he think this would end? Why?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Jesse from Full House

      Agreed. However, I think a lot of Bible-toters would rather see him laid out and stoned to death. Sounds a lot like another religion if you ask me...

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

      I agree Steven, as bad as everyone wants him dead we really should analyze him to see what went wrong. What made him tick and go off the deep end, history repeats itself and I myself hope this never happens again. I think we should be proactive and see what we can do to prevent something like this in the future. He's not the only nutcase out there, all this will do is motivate another one!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • roscoe

      While I agree in theory this is not what I want my tax dollars to support...psychiatry on nut cases. While I realize he appears to be a loner (according to classmates) didn't anyone in his family figure out he was "not quite right" and do something? Falls in line with "If you see something, say something."

      July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jawan

      Man, you're a fool steven. Using your logic, 20 people can go shootup 20 people, for a total of 400 kills, and only expect a slap on the wrist. No wonder these guys are so brazen. They KNOW they will get to live years, perhaps decades before any real justice is metout. They won't be able to experience the fear and unpreparedness for death that their victims have. Our justice system is a real joke.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. GM1953

    oh that poor baby looks so sad

    July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    He is not Muslim, so we can not call him terrorist.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I am just so stupid

      July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Cody

      Yes he is a terrorist! He clearly went into that movie theater to cause terror and mass chaos.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Me

      BS! I say call him what he is. A TERRORIST. He clearly terrorized the attendees of the theater and anyone who CAUSES terror is a terrorist.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • joe sarr

      Why he Didn't Kill Himself?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dougie Daniels

    Please fry ASAP.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Southern Guy

    Kill him.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Luke

    He looks like Bozo the clown more than the Joker.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Lucy94

      I thought the same thing! The Joker had green hair.

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

    Looks nothing like the photo when he was being arrested at Occupy San Diego.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. GM1953

    I would love to hear what his family has to say about him. Did they see it coming in any way?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      I agree 100%!! His family needs to speak.......

      July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. James

    I hope he gets b*tt-r@ped every minute of his existence in jail.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Greenspam

    Can Holmes plead guilty to all charges? If he tried, would the judge let him?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • MARC

      Once he is deemed mentally competence he can plead guilt and not have a trial – hopefully for all concerned that is what he will do and it may be used as part of a bargaining chip to avoid the death penalty

      July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • erb1957

      how would like to be his defense attorney? Guess she drew the short straw.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pmn

    He might have snapped or became temporarily insane but he knew what he was doing and planned this very careful to achieve his violent and tragic goal. He deserves nothing less than the death penalty.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Shay

      This is NOT a "snapped" situation-give the victim a breatk that he shot and killed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. David Kuklinski

    What a f***ing chump he looks like.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. Penny Nickels

    Wow... dude looks totally stoned. Wonder if his attorney slipped him some shrooms while he was in solitary confinement, lol

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • David Kuklinski

      They put him on psych meds, he just realized what he did.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  15. ANDY

    not too late to say he was trying to escape ??

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
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