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. Surreal29

    Doesn't look so scary without his body of armor, his assault weapons, gas cannisters, and evil actions - jus one sick Satanic piece of twisted evil. So sorry that mental health in this country has been sidelined to protect everyone's personal rights. I pray that his mind will clear, so that he can begin to try and realize what he had done - unless he realizes only a part of what he has done - then vengeance and punishment will not be nearly so satisfying.

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

    Even if they don't give him the death penalty he's a dead guy walking. Even murders in prison don't like baby killers, he sealed his fate when he killed a 6 yr old child.

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

    He had to be assisted and trained. With the UN treaty taking place, this stinks of a Manchurian candidate situation. Just like other cases he did not try to get away. He was most likely in a trance just like Sirhan Sirhan. I don't believe this was random in any way. Bring on the conspiracy nut comments. You think this scenario is not possible? Do your own research and then judge. They want to take our guns folks, they need this type of situation and they always come along so conveniently don't they?

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

    If you think evil, you will become evil and do evil things. You will spend eternity in hell with you maker satin and be A castout. Hell is the sentence most appropriate for him.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ron g

    he need to be hanged immediately!!!!......but first sick him on our rotten do nothing congress!!!!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hmmmm

    So now all whites are terrorists? Great! what do we do now?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Now Robert Downing Jr can play his part in the upcoming lifetime movie which Im sure are all ready in the works

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pprty

    He is acting dazed. He is the Joker. If given a rifle he would have tried to kill everyone in that court room. Death penalty.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DavidDuke

    His counsel is worried. Look at her face. She could easily have been at the theater that night. Now she is sitting next to a clown.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

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

    Are you sure you dont mean that he died his hair for his court appearance? It would be very unusual to allow a suspect to die his hair during the proceedings.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    His motive is only a matter of passing curiosity, to me. No matter what his motive, there can never be justification for what he did or why he did it.

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

    he if hes tried as a terrorist, he wont have any rights

    July 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TheDoug

    And in a quest to feel enlightened, we will let this guy live in some hospital for the rest of his life.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mehmet

    That's what he wants! To be talked about! Just like the guy who killed 77 people in Norway. I bet this sick person enjoys every news about himself. However, when he goes to jail he will wake up from his psychopathic dream. I hope that court will give him the worst punishment and try not to reduce his punishment because of "insanity" like they tried to do for the guy in Norway.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HamsterDancer

    It drove me crazy the way reporter kept saying he dyed his hair red to look like the Joker. All it takes is a quick google search to see the character has always had green hair.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penny Nickels

      Yup, just like Superman was really a blond.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
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