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. InDisbelief

    Someone who has mental issues does not methodically plan out how to kill people or purchase rifles and ammo months in advance to carry out his evil deed.

    They also don't booby trap their home or apartment in the way this guy did.

    That, to me, shows that he PLANNED what he was going to do in advance and he had the comprehension to booby trap his home in order to cause yet more devastation and death.

    And someone who just SNAPS does not plan their deed in advance either.

    I think its a slap in the face to all the victims and people everywhere IF his attys and his defense winds up being a mentally ill defense. That's just ridiculous. A mentally ill person would not have been able to plan all these details out.

    What's worse is that once his trial is over, if found guilty, he will appeal his case and taxpayers AND HIS VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES, will have to support him.

    IN THIS COUNTRY, CRIMINALS ARE PROTECTED, VICTIMS ARE FURTHER VICTIMIZED.

    I hope he commits suicide. Best thing that could happen. This way its a quick death and he doesn't wind up being supported and protected by his victims, for doing this heinous act.

    When its obvious and there is overwhelming proof someone committed a heinous crime worthy of the DP, then they should be killed promptly. I can't see keeping people on Death Row alive and costing taxpayers money, taking up space in prison. as they sit there for 20+ years.

    But that's just me and I am probably the minority.

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

      Sorry you don't like our laws. Maybe you should find a country you like better.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. garwin1

    He should be the waterboarding practice subject until he is executed.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. honestinjun

    Just thinking if this had happened in a town in TX that really packed heat, I wonder how long this murderer would have stood before someone took him out!

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

      In a darkened theater where there was "chaos" as described by those there, I wonder how many more would have been killed by armed folks....

      July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sara

    I don't think he's emotionless. i think he looks stunned. he probably can't believe what he did. i hope he feels particularly bad about the 6 year old girl he killed. all of that aside, he needs to be taken off the streets. Whether he is evil or sick makes no difference–he's social poison.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    People like this, their brain should get examine with a scanner and study the brain, no man should have the need of killing anyoned that never hurt them, especially young children. If your that type of person, why not join the army and kill the bad guys out there?? one of the reason why the states should ban the guns, why allowe people to buy weapons for their protection? seriously, the best way to protect one another, is to have zero guns on the streets, stop it now. My gosh.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. girlygirl

    No emotion...no remorse...nothing from Bozo the Killer Clown....

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 0704American

    Why is John Holmes still alive? He should have been put to rest by the police officers on the scene. Now millions of dollars in tax payer money will be spent to try this case and provide him with a comfortable cell.

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

      It's James. If you're going to be so eager to kill someone, at least get their name right.

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

    He looks drugged! I think he's trying play crazy. He was all there to make the elaborate bobby traps and he was all there when he planned the attack on the people in the movie theater. The victims families are right we need to focus on them and their lives. But we will all sit glued to our t.v.'s and computers. Just like when Dennis Rader the B.T.K killer was arrested here in Kansas.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Down with the joker

    Hope this fool gets a well deserved sentence. Death sentence is not enough. He should be stoned publicly.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Guy

    Can you say ? Already working on his insanity ticket. Unbelieveable!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Omni

    This person needs to be tortured to death in front of his parents on national T.V.

    That'll give him his 15 minutes of screaming fame right there.

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

    Find him guilty and shoot him

    July 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J.D. Hog

    Presently he looks like a sane man who is a performer; a bad one. If he came in and sat down in a suit with a nice haircut, fully alert – then it would be easier to think maybe he is bipolar, neurotic or whatever. But he appears to be a dummy in the same racket as every other inflated ego, an attention getter gone awry. He is small time, with small and limited plans and has left himself vunerable to T.V., movies and whatever other influences his person was unable to handle. Now look at him, a sad imitation of the rest of them. As soon as he shuffled in you knew what to expect from him and the justice system.

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

    With all due consideration – death penalty, and to be executed as soon as permissable.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Dunn

    Its not strange that this gentleman at sometime he could get away with this because white America has been killing groups of people for centuries without any repercussions!

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

      Gentleman? Why do you call him a gentle man?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
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