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. Jana

    I think that he looks like he is trying to look "crazy". Not that he is not completely insane but I think he looks like he is acting like what he thinks a crazy person would act like in court. The big eyes and the staring off into space as if he doesn't know where he is. He was coherent enough to calculate his every move, now all of the sudden he doesn't know where he is.....phony act by a fame seeking lunatic.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • nuttysquirrel72

      Jana – Those were my exact thoughts as I watched the video too.

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

    The good thing is that he didn't have the balls to shoot himself, so he can be prosecuted and slowly dry away in a cell.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mealie M

    I find it in very poor taste that the ad before this story features a "blood" rain storm. Is anyone paying attention there?!!

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

    I had this same idea he did it all wrong you gotta lock the exits so they file to the front and spray and pray down the isle. the count would of been higher. i also heard people are dying to see the new batman movie

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

    Mr. Holmes, you better be glad you and I didn't meet face to face.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Julia G

    He will probably kill himself before he goes to trial....This could be someones son; his parents are victimes too; they probably never had a clue about how sick their son was, or what was going on in his head...

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

    Execute him. Now. Period. Blog that.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. revelations 13:7

    welcome to the United Soviet States of Advertising... where you aren't even allowed access to information without having to digest a few car commercials, or have someone try to sell you insurace

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Raela

    I want to know why he's not a TERRORIST!!!!!!!!!!???? Is it because he's not Muslim?

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

    CNN – very, very poor taste to show the Time Warner ad with "raining blood" prior to the video

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. heyman11

    Tell me if this guy was a black guy???

    July 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jellylee2020

    Honestly, he doesn't look like joker at all, he looks more like a clown.

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

    so far 12 have died.
    how ever many die from this horrible shooting that is how many counts of murder he should be charged with!!

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

    Really, if a black person had done this, how many of you would be saying that he's mentally ill? None! That's how many. Blacks get a public defender and a 15 minute trial. Their mental health never comes into the discussion. I live in Denver and work 6 blocks from the Theatre. I've been here since 1994 when I turned 21. Nathan Dunlap murdered people at Chucky Cheese and is now on death row in Colorado. This person deserves the same. His mental state is evil and he should be put to sleep like the rabid dog that he is.

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

      shut up always about race get a life

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

      i beez mentally ill, mane. i pleads aint guilty, yo' hona'

      July 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lion

    If holmes was smart, he should have commit these crimes in a theather in Florida instead; and still get away with murder!

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