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. 2 interested

    The Idiot! Hang him high

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

    this guy just did it wrong

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

    C'mon. There is no more a direct correlation between being a "genius" and mass murder and that of a layman committing mass murder. I think this kind of justification is not very well grounded. There are people with twice the IQ of this man that lead very different lives. Plus, we don't even know if this guy is really a "genius" or not. Besides, there is no evidence to support any kind of relation between IQ and being a murdering maniac....statistically speaking.

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

    Parents: They issued a short statement Friday saying they did not wish to be disturbed "at the time of this tragic event."... 12 people dead and 58 wounded didn't want to be disturbed but their freaking crazy son. Thanks

    July 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lee Tutt

    Is this guy stone, or just loco???

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

    Did anyone see the very inappropriate commercial by time warner cable before this clip aired? The one where it is raining blood and when the guy goes inside and shakes his umbrella, blood splats land all over a girls face? Not that this kind of stuff is what causes people to act like this guy but I do believe it does fuel it and honestly, that commercial was so misplaced!

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

    yanks, guns, and killing just seem to go together.

    many of you people are as sick as the killer.

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

    why are we jumping to the conclusion the he is guilty, which we know he is, but we dont have a the full story of who he is... I think that everyone should reserve judgement until it is the proper time. Stick with what is going on. Everyone is jumping to conclusions right now. Yes, I am not happy with what has happened, I am very ticked off that someone would take lives like this. But I do believe in the wheels of justice and weighing the facts before passing judgement.

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

    We know this piece of crap did this what is wrong with the Judicial system. It was already proven he had a very high IQ he knew what he was doing. This should not take a year that is for sure. I say give him to the families then especially the girlfriend and the mother who did not know her child was dead until she recovered. Imagine going to a movie and some dumb turd comes in with a gun and so the people of that county tax payers have to pay for this turd to stay in jail and be protected put him in with the general population and let them take care of him. Why make his jail stay easy. Oh let me guess it was none of the court peoples family members it was regular citizens of that state and county his own mother states the right person was caught. Mental disorder wrong escape goat I have a few and I would never do that or any harm to anyone.

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

    Here are some quotes from Amish Project that I think are relevant to this discussion. They're from memory, so they aren't verbatim.
    "I thought, what kind of SICKO could do something like this?"
    "Eddie wasn't a bad guy. He wasn't the devil. He just couldn't keep his darkness down any longer, and it ate him. It ate him, and it ate those poor little girls, and now it's eating me... And you can pull your hat down and say 'that's evil', but that's not evil. It's the truth. It lives in me, and yes it lives in you too..."
    "And the Amish believe, and please, this is very important, that there is no why. That even if we could be inside of Eddie's head as he drove up to that school house, as he– we could never really understand."

    July 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pete Bogs

    Dazed, or is reality just starting to sink in? Alternately, an act for a planned insanity defense?

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

      As intelligent as he is (book smart-wise) it wouldn't surprise me if this was an act to make him appear out of his mind.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ali

    casey anthony can have her life back!

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

      she never gave her life away ,, you instead, never had one and never will

      July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. elle

    As intelligent as this person is said to be, Neuro scientist and all..he himself would have been familiar with delusional thoughts and mental deficits. No excuse for this lame brain!! He could have sought help. Besides he spent months preparing this massacre and clearly anyone with his background knew what he was doing. He had to be sedated because of his own bizarre behavior since his arrest . Very cowardly and not surprising. What a tragic mess !!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. weedouthate

    What is an appropriate response to such an unfeeling soul? I propose a symboic gesture to weed out hatred by extracting a single weed.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John S.

    I see an insanity defense coming. If he's not faking it maybe he took some drugs or chemicals during his neuroscience education and it fried his brain. A room next to John Hinckley Jr. for the rest of his life...

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

      I'm going to say this right now, NOT making excuses for the degenerate – but that kid is on some type of Drugs, I say that because thats the same look somebody I know, had and still has to this day at certain times – back about 12 to 15 years ago, I can't mention his name on a public site, he got involved wih some kids that Laced a Marijuana cigarette / Joint with some other type of Drug, and it fried X's Brain for years, totally off in a Daze all the time, coherit but not coherit, and had Illusions all the time, drove his parents nuts, he was in a psycho ward for a while, now he's on some kind of medication, but to this day he still weirds out and has this off in space stare , like he's in some other dimension, totally dis-connected from the rest of the world to this day, after 12 – 15 years ago of experimenting. Still they need to Fry this jerk wad in the electric chair !!!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jetranger

      Ummm they let John Hinkly Jr. out under supervised care, sometime ago, if you didn't know, it was all over the news .

      July 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
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