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. OneTwo

    Time to bring back the "Chair" Fry the son of a Dog.

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

      Why ya gotta drag dogs into this nutbag's insanity?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Max

    Dont bother with court. Send him right to the chair!

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

    Being that he does have training in abnormal psychology, I agree that there is a good possibility this is an act to get off on an insanity defense – which might be why he gave himself up so easily – he thinks he is smarter than everybody else and can beat the system – he really has watched to many movies – and he is in for a rude awakening.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nizete walsh

    this guy shouldnt ha walked out of theather alive, after killing so many people. why keepsomeoe like this alive?wih this tough economy this blood old killer is going to cost us tax payers so much money, we cant afford to work hard to keep this mfker alive . education and health care need attention. but alll we hear on the news is this. this man shouldnt hav enever walked alive from that theater,im sorry to say this.what about those that lost loved ones,,? is it worth to keep someone highly dangerous in our society? give us a break ..

    July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Grammar Police

    "Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday."

    Did they do his nails too? C'mon CNN, I'm not a journalist nor schooled expertly in the English language, but Holmes' hair wasn't "dyed...during his court appearance". Duh! Maybe...he arrived in court with orange dyed hair.

    Can I have a job? Because my writing MUST be better than the hacks you hire and pay to be "journalists".

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

    The NRA and politicians who sell them their souls are equally at fault.

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

      Next time you have a thought, do the world a favor, and let it go.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. awooff

    How does one "act insane" while killing? Obviously he is insane! With that said, I have no issue with death penality for mentally ill, ect.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Judy

    Don't worry that insanity defense isn't going any where for him.

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

    The family says "they do not wish to be disturbed at this time"? Disturbed. That's an interesting choice of words. Do they have any idea how many victims, and friends and family of the victims, have been "disturbed by this event"? How many young people questioning whether or not it's safe to go into a movie theatre have been disturbed by this event? How many police officers risking their lives defusing a bomb-ridden apartment have been disturbed by this event? Wow, I think it's so nice that the family has the tenacity to stand up and say they don't want to be disturbed by this event. The largest mass-shooting in US history, and they want to hang a sign on the door that says do not disturb. Sorry family, didn't mean to disturb you.

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

    http://po.st/DeERwj This is how you stop a Massacre!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. revelations 13:7

    google MK ultra.... look up Project Northwoods... connect the dots if your brave enough to face the uneasy truth

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

    He must have felt like an idiot in his orange and red hair.

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

    The guy is acting.

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

    I hope they have armed police in the courtroom because that is one freaky dude.

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

    His actions, terrible as they were, are not cause for his rights to be denied. For Frank Fania to claim that asking for an attorney is uncooperative is a disgrace and shows a complete lack of respect for the judicial system.

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