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. cleareye1

    And to think that some other disturbed person is watching all this and thinking "I'd like to be famous too," worries me. They are unable to see reality. This guy could be driving through the mountains today a free spirit, but instead he faces a short life of absolute misery.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brown okie

    This man is white, American, and a terrorist. TSa sould start double checking everyone at the airport with orange hair and pail skin.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JS

    The American system is laughable. It's simply a country that doesn't work in any capacity anymore.

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

      This country is so broken it's almost laughable!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tina

    I could understand who was who, but who was the person sitting to his left taking notes?

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

      His court appointed attorney. (that poor girl.)

      July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Miguel Caron

    This guy looks like he's in outer space.
    Supposedly he is highly intelligent, however a high degree of intelligence also comes with a high risk of madness. He looks like he danced across that line.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Garnet

    He wants to appear insane; afterall he has a degree in neuro-science. He certainly was capable of buying guns, ammo, killing human beings, booby-trapping his apt, finding the theatre, driving,etc. and yet he has the nerve to sit in that courtroom and act insane and give the illlision that he couldn't find his way out of a paper bag. Oh please! A big waste of taxpayer dollars for this trial!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. moe

    sick , sick ,sick , i dont know why curt and ect ect just shoot him in the face right away

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. B Mills

    This act deserves an Academy award.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Middle America

    I was struck by the sorrow and regret plainly displayed on his face just now. He is severly mentally disturbed but not stupid. His demeanor is not an act. If it were, he'd be smirking and grinning like A.B. Brievik in Norway, or some of those other nuts. He is a tragic, doomed figure who definitely deserves what he gets under the law for his senseless, cruel, tragic crimes. But it is a tragedy of huge proportions from all angles. What a waste of life... his, AND all of his innocent victims, as well. God bless them all.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Xander Crews

    Some of you are asking why his hair is dyed or how he got it dyed in prison?
    Seriously??
    It's been all over the news that he dyed it that color before the shooting and said he was the joker.
    Pay attention people...or use Google...or both.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joan

    The Judge should have ordered this beast taken back out and have his head shaved before he could return to the court room. Also, have electrical wires on him so everytime he seemed to be falling asleep he would be zapped to wake up.
    Set a date for a public hanging in 12 days. Keep him awake and remind him everyday what is going to happen to him.
    I am sure that a least one the people in the theatre had the RTC, but was not allowed to carry it inside.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. humtake

    It doesn't matter if he is crazy or not. I hate that defense. If you take away all of the arguments, what you have is a guy who killed a bunch of other people. Regardless if this is because of his mind or not, he has still proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a danger to society. He should not be able to exist in society. Either kill him (if you believe in the death sentence) or lock him away forever.

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

      locking people up forever is not a solution and should not be! The cost of keeping someone in prison for life at the start of a young age like him would cost taxpayers millions of dollars over his life term. To keep a degenerate alive is one thing but to make me pay for it is outrageous! He is a cold blooded killer and to keep him alive and have us pay for it is like punching me in the face as you say thank you!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob

    This punk needs to die! Plain and simple! He must be put to death! There should be no trial, just a judge and a death sentence! In no way shape or form should he be allowed a chance to get off! Insanity plea, police botched handling of case, technicality should not be an option! He is the murderer, no excuse! Death! The need to waste millions in tax payer money to put this guilty, degenerate through a trial is beyond me! A few thousands to pay the judge and court people for their time and the bullet is all this should cost us! Keep that in mind as you see how much money is wasted on this guilty degenerate! In addition, I think they should blow him up, video it and replay it over and over and over again in all correctional facilities and let them all know they could be next! We should have no tolerance for people like this! They need to die!

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

      yeah, yeah, kill kill.

      I want to know why? How could someone go this wrong? Lots of people play video games and watch movies, but don’t go out and kill people. maybe if we understand why we can be proactive instead of reactive.

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

      Brutal, but you have a point. Our justice system is designed to make sure that an innocent person is given a chance. As such it doesn't handle creatures like Holmes 'well' in the sense that despite immediate, overwhelming evidence of his guilt the process will still take months, if not years before they're strapping him down for the needle, spooling up the generator to fry him or just even throwing away the key to his cell. We can at least have confidence that one of those will be his fate. The devil is patient, he'll wait his turn.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darcy

    If ever there was a case of 'faked insanity' this is it! This isn't a guy staring off into space, its a guy who's trying to LOOK insane but isn't doing a very good job of it. Why are we wasting taxpayer money even trying this guy. Put him in front of a firing squad and let him have it. An eye for an eye!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Penny Nickels

    He should have had that orange day glo hair in dread locks, now that would have been funky!

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