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. dude looks sad and scared lol

    The Joker wouldn't look so sad. The Joker would have a huge grin on his face.

    Seems like reality took an anvil and slapped him across the face with it. He's fearing for his backside virginity right now.

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

    [Posted at 11:45 a.m. ET] Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday.

    I didn't even know they had a sink in the courtroom....

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

    He planned it out...that's not the signs of someone with insanity. That's the sign of someone who knew just what would happen and what the repercussions would be if caught.

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

    The dazed and confused look is a total fake, bigger than Dallas.

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

    I really think the State's obligation is to pursue the maximum punishment for this murderer allowed by law, even if the victim's families wish to forgive. The roles are separate. People should forgive, but the state is actually obligated to judge. Forgiveness is the responsibility of individuals. Judgement under law is the responsibility of the state.

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

    This is a kid who has grown up in the Liberal age of 'everyone is special'. Most likely he hit the real world and nobody was pandering to his every need and telling him the world revolves around him so he got upset and started shooting people. It's funny how reality has a way of disproving Liberal ideologies and it's unfortunate that when it disproves them it can end up where innocent people get killed.

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

      Yeah! liberalism is to blame for mass murders! And crime, war, and natural disasters! Great logic!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leroy Jenkins

      Speaking of nut cases.......

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

    Actually he looks sedated

    July 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. B Mills

    Justin, an immediate firing squadwould be a better, quicker, fairer solution.

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

    You're an idiot. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. If it weren't guns, it would have been booby traps and bombs, which he did have in his apartment. I'm so tired of people blaming guns. If no guns existed, then these lunatics would just find something else to use.

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

    Watching on tv. Sickened that it's gonna take more than a year in court for this guy. What a waste of tax dollars. Common sense should prevail. Also, I think he is faking and acting as if he's non-coherent in the courtroom. This should be an easy death penalty within 30 days.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jamal Ahmed

    He should be executed.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Glenn Walker

    Sleep deprivation. Police are using tactics to keep him awake, e.g. loud music, guards banging on his cell, etc. This is a form of torture. He is not medicated, just sleep deprived.

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

      why would they be doing that??? to torture him for what he did? I could understand the desire to that, but it sounds unprofessional and childish.

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

    I didn't buy that performance in the court room. He's in the business of attention seeking. He might be nuts, but he's mostly smart. He didn't fly off the handle and do this, it was premeditated to hell and back. Probably took days to wire his apartment to kill police and neighbors for blocks around. Now sitting there in a daze, my ass.

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

      Pray never to have a person with mental illness in YOUR family- be it your kids or parents..

      As it will a GRIM reminder how IGNORANT and BLIND the people are with the MENTAL ILLNESS topic. Wake up and smell the coffee, until Mental illness is looked into the same way CANCER is, this so called "Madness" will NEVER stop..

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

      agree with you 100% Karen!

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

      I totally concur. It's almost as if he's seeking sympathy with that depressed, dazed and confused act he's putting on. I'm not buying it either. This guy may have some serious mental issues, but he certainly knows what the hell he's doing.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DN3

      Agreed.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laface

      Karen, I couldn't have said it better! My sentiments exactly!!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marilyn

      @ karen, you are spot on for your comments; could not have said it better.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      I couldn't agree more. This is a man who staged a theatrical slaughter during a high-profile premiere while in costume. This is simply the beginning of Act 2.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. B. Jones

    He's my hero!

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

      and your mom is ours! but only because she gives the best head – as i'm sure you very well know BJ!!

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

      Cnn, please report this person to the authorities.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • C. Dawson

      Sick-O!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Little Man

      Your next Jones.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Atlanta Lady

      Why would you write that? Maybe you need to be fried too. P.O.S.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cody Starr

      Its to bad you weren't sitting in that moving theater..

      July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Rhutko

      Maybe you should join him in the death chamber. I am sure they have extra fun sauce for you too. Jack wad.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay cook

      if he's your hero you should go to jail with him you can be his celly after protect cusody he's he will meat the same faith as jeffery domer

      July 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • hopesprings

      I hope the FBI is at your door as we speak. Clearly you need investigation and possibly to be arrested B. Jones.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. j4242

    I hope the court doesn't fall for this act he is displaying in court. He is a very smart man and is playing the "I am insane" card. They never give the death penalty to someone doctors believe to be insane.

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