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. saddened

    70 people's lives were either ended or drastically changed by this man's actions. That's not counting the families and friends of those 70 who are inevitably effected as well. That's not counting those that were in that theater that were not killed or injured in this incident or THEIR friends and families. That's not counting those that were very nearly caught in the additional suffering had any one of the explosives in his apartment gone off. My heart breaks for the victims of this horrorific attack. I know this is one trial I will be following very closely from now to the very end. I hope they seek the highest punishment they can possibly manage for this man.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. snakebite201

    This guy IS a terrorist. He caused terror in his commitment of indescriminate murder. He should be tried as such, convicted as such and sentenced as such!

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

      well i am sorry, only if he was a Muslim he would be called terrorist, other wise that definition don't exist in other race or religion – sadly, we define terrorism by religion only –

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

      100% agreed !!!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Doug

    Something knocked him over the edge. Whether he is insane or not, by anyones definition, is irrelevent. He is in ga ga land and will remain there for the rest of his life.

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

      How about somebody releasing the Toxicology Tests , to the media, hopefully they drew blood and hair samples, and urine samples with a court ordered sepina & Warrant !

      July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Whitetiger

    BATH SALTS made him dye his hair and then dress up an play urban commando video games in real life.. This young man needed a better father figure in his life. All the signs are there....

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. U.S. Centrist

    Why are we even placing the attention on this monster? I don't care about his life, who he is, what his favorite letters are in his alphabet soup, etc. He gave up his rights and privileges to be considered a human being when he decided to mass murder people. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, but don't deify him. Even talking about his motives is giving in to the media blitz. And CNN, you need to get this filth's face OFF your front page. He doesn't deserve the notoriety you're giving him...seriously, what's wrong with you people in the media?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GEB

    Looks like he's putting on a show. At least he's not smiling...I don't think I could watch that.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. troy

    the dude looks like a clown.this dude need serious help and needs to be placed in a mental facility.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mohammed

    I am glad He is not a Muslim but same time, its sad to say he is not being called terrorist – = while he just terrorized the entire country –

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

      Naw Electric Chair for this creep and others like him that do these type of public shootings, rather their like this or Drive by shootings , its time to start FRYING these degenerate Freaks, Gang Bangers, and cold blooded psyco murderers , no exceptions ! The Electric Chair !!!

      July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. musings

    Why are they letting him wear a wig in court?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jsr

    probably an act..ABC news this morning said he was spitting at guards and other places while he was in his cell..i wouldn't think they would sedate him before court..don't know..but strange and scarey

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MyAK

    I can understand why someone would commit an act like this after reading the comments on here..some of you people deserve it be shot right in the head ...

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fluke300

    Let this poor kid go. He's as innocent as they come. The media has it right. He's about to get a doctorate. We need doctors and people need to look for the real killers.

    The real question is what should president Obama have done better to prevent this tragedy. Instead of free healt care for everyone, he needs to really just give us free stuff like kevlar vests and free money. Then I could buy healtcare with my free money or more kevlar or a hotdog if Im hungry.

    The president Obama needs to rally the American people together to start a manhunt for the real killers. This doctor kid is just a kid who was enjoying a movie. He's innocent and there was more evidence to convict Casey Anthony than there is to convict this doctor kid.

    Obama where are you? Help us rescuse this poor persecuted doctor kid person and help America find the real killer of these fans of movie films.

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

      Fluke you've got to be on the same drugs that idiot is, your also a Certified Class A Lunitic and it shows !! US Marshalls will be over to pick you up shortly and evaluate you forthe insane asylum ward at the nearest mental hospital !! Lunitic !

      July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bella

    could you have picked a worse commercial to run before the video???

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. allenwoll

    The people around this man are partly responsible, I suspect . (I do NOT KNOW that for a fact).

    Apparently, no one cared and may have let an obvious mental basket case run loose when he should have been under tight lock-and-key and restraint ! ! !

    There are plenty more out there : Look around you ! . (This is NOT a "conspiracy" comment).

    July 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wcburns

    No doubt, he'll play the insanity defense ( he's already working on it in this video ), Then there will be a huge snafu about violent movies, worshipping comic heroes, etc etc. blaa blaa blaa. Then he will get sent to prison for life, and forgotten.

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