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. Jimmy

    How about no more true blood commercials raining blood before anything that has to do with this horrific event.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. REALLY!?!

    This guy is NOT that intelligent. This was a deliberate and calculated act that was horribly coordinated; and everyone should be on their knees that it wasn't well coordinated. The apartment should have blown, emergency units should have gon eto the apartment, then the nut goes crazy in a theater. He's a loser, loser, loser... fail! Shot him in the face on live TV... just please stop saying he was "extremly" intelligent or a friggin genius; he's not.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chuck

    The guy looks like Ronald McDonald,

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. es

    remember, his area of study was neuroscience. working on a PhD no less. does it cross anyone's mind that he may be trying to get himself off on insanity charges? just wondering.. he certainly was not "out of it" when he was planning all of those months then methodically and successfully followed through with this hateful crime.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MB

    To: B.Jones – why would you say he is your hero??????? If that is the case you need to seek help, now!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dee

    Who would actually pray for his soul? Really? I get that Christians should "forgive" but this guys deserves what he gets. Whatever it may be.
    I live here in Aurora, Colorado. My kids are pretty traumatized that our own community is making national and world wide news. That the President of the US was only two blocks from our home last night. That this theatre where they have always gone to and have many memories of, is now tainted with chaos and murders.
    I am not a religous person – but if I were, I would know that he will be judged for his sins in his next life, and no amount of praying for him would change anything. He has terrorized his own neigbors, all of those innocent people in the theatre, their families and loved ones, the community in which he lives, his own family, and parents everywhere with his premeditated act of violence.
    One does not spend thousands of dollars, plan and wait, booby trap and meticulously stratigize a disgusting act like this with any mental illness. He knows the brain....he has studied the brain and has a MASTERS degree. He had to have known that the main Aurora Police department is located literally around the corner from the theatre. That the police would be there within minutes. He surrendered peacefully? There's something much deeper than that going on here. Not sure yet what it is, but it is most certainly NOT insanity!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Saddend

    Sad that this man may have a chance at rehabilitation and yet so many victims did not stand a chance! Really hope justice is served!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TMS

    They need to put this animal to sleep!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jack,

    He's not crazy! He's a cold blooded killer! Why waste the money on a court case! Put him in front on the White House and make an example out of him. Put a bullet in his left knee then the right one. Then after ten mins put one in his head.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    BS!!!!! His hair wasn't orange when they arrested him so how did he get access to the dye while he was in jail? His slick "A" attorney has come up with a plan to make him plead insanity and told him to dye his hair and look like he's in a daze while in court. Lookin like a teenage mutant carrot top!!!

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

      His hair was dyed orange at the time of the incident.
      The photo that had been shown throughout coverage of this event was a University photo, not his mug shot.

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

    You have to remember he also had some med scholl traing to know how to look nuts

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. j4242

    We wasted enough tax payers money keeping Charles Manson alive. I hope the court doesn't make the same mistake.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ned

    Why do people in the media keep saying that he colored his hair like the Joker?

    The Joker has green hair.

    This is Ronald McDonald.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. arnoldsfriend

    In my opinion, giving him a psych evaluation is just a way to try to keep him alive. He doesn't look distraught. He looks like he's trying to stay awake. Anyone in a courtroom gets sleepy. It's always cold. It's boring, and I'm sure the monotone voice of the judge isn't helping him stay awake.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tucson Jim

    "Look at me, I roll my eyes around like a crazy person see??? I must be crazy so don't execute me!!!"

    July 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Omni

      That's not going to work. This trash will burn.

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