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. mike

    I really miss actual journalism, what may I ask is evil? this is un-checked mental illness. Complied with venue negligence, not providing basic security for the consumer. Where is the CCC footage from this event (not massacre) ?

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

    Crazy like a fox! Looks like he took lessons from Chin Gigante on how to look out of it.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Katy D

    This piece of human garbage did a poor job of pretending to be insane during the hearing this morning. He looked like he was a scared little weasel trying not to crap his pants. I sincerely hope that the guards look the other way while transporting him to the shower and let the other inmates deliver some well-deserved jailhouse justice. He does not deserve to exist on this planet. Hell is waiting

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

    Domestic terrorism charges would not be something state prosecutors would consider in the case, Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said Monday.

    Why the hell not? Is this not a terrorist act? I wouldn't be going to any movies for quite awhile due to the terror I experienced while in a theater.

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

    They should have shaved his head before the court appearance. But I guess the red hair makes for better TV...

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hannah

    Time to bring back public hangings and stop making cult heros of mass murderers.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Iceni

    He is an intelligent person, a lecturer and Ph.D candidate at 24, so he's smart enough to fake mental illness, I hope for the sake of the victims that he fools nobody!
    I was a coucellor in Corrections and I know a fake when I see one, and he's it!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Just Me

    Why waste time. This brazen criminal should be led to the back of the courthouse and shot to death by a firing squad. And eye for an eye. The thought of years and years of trials, and appeals, and no doubt an insanity defense would be unbearable. Take him out back now, and be done with it. Shoot him up the same way he shot others. Let him see how it feels.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sebastien

    Why is Domestic Terrorism charges not something they'd consider.
    This is very much an act of Domestic Terrorism.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rob

    I think he is suffering from a bad case of the clap

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marcia

    he looks like he's trying really hard to present himself as insane. I don't think he is...he's very very calculating!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. not bob levy

    Looks like someone coming off of opiates. Curious to see if he had any in his system during the assault.
    -not bob levy

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

      People do not do drugs that cause them to them go on well-planned murderous rampages. The guy has serious psychological issues.

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

    "prosecutors would be working hard to prove the charges against James Holmes"

    Why would that take more than a half-hour?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jack

    showed little emotion? CNN MSNBC all crappy sensationalis journalist.. what is emotion? it is broad. you want him to cry... be disruptive.. this is BS news.. i am glad i just come here for a LOL

    July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. riamb60

    He is playing games with the court., he is pretending he is insane.
    The person he had a beer with on Tuesday before the shooting said he acted totally normal.
    Where is that guy now, was he a friend of Holmes ??

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