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. Colin Morgan

    It would be very easy to label this guy a monster, evil or whatever negative adjective you could come up with. I just don't know. I would really love to get my hands on the case file that results from the psychological profile and meetings that come out of this. There is something much more complex going on in his head.

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

      This was clearly an evil act, and yeah there's probably something weird you can read about in a report. The fact that someone might want to read about his thoughts doesn't overrule the fact that his actions were abhorrent and evil.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. readplease

    The guy looks heavily sedated – creepy.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Down with the joker

    Since he is white he will get the insanity plea and get it granted. Let it be a black or brown person they would have been sentence by now.

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

      Keep the hate alive with your absurd comments. So sad.

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

    Hey! Look! It's Bozo the Clown. Nice hair kid.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Let

    My and your Taxes are paying for his food, medical services and defense. This is the kind of spending that should not be tolerated. People should demand that this law be changed! This guy had money to buy everything he used that night and more... how is he qualifying for a free attorney at our expense? Why are AMERICANS ok with our Tax dollars being spent this way?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dianegoble

      He looks like a case of undiagnosed (college onset) schizophrenia which means he could plead insanity and not only will we have to pay for his defense but we'll have to support him for the rest of his life (roughly 50 years) in a mental hospital... comes out to, what? $50 Million? There goes Medicare.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chuck

    The guy is totaly putting on a poor me show with his facial expresions

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pk

    you'd think w/ all the technology that we have today, the court room feed could have been complete

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Luke

    The idiot didn't even get the color of the Joker's hair right.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. B. Jones

    Wow, so you're all suddenly lawyers eh? Great! I hate lawyers! I hope you all die!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jo

    God Bless America and the "right to bear arms. " Its really about time this " right " is revoked. Then regardless of sane or insane issue, so hotly debated here, there would be a lot less mess ups. Oh and BTW you guys should be ashamed of yourselves ranting on and on, via a message board, all these so call online experts in criminology, psychology oh not forgetting law. Its shameful!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. UtahFriday

    Do not waste the time or money housing this crack pot for the next 50 years. Don't even invest in a bullet. Simply hang him the same day they find him guilty. Do it publically and very quickly. Don't allow him to have his day in the spotlight which is what he wants. The only thing that should be televised should be his hanging. The trial should not be televised and all involved should be under a gag order. Give this p.o.s. exactly what he deserves!

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

    Rejoice .....the lord has his sentence for him. Yea, thou I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil.

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

    They need to figure out what triggered this guy to go nuts before the gas him. By whatever means necessary, water boarding, drugs, anything that will get him to talk. This behavior is becoming too frequent in otherwise normal people.

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

      A propensity to sin that's what.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Penny Nickels

    The court could have made this very easy. "Mr Holmes, the court finds you GUILTY on all counts! Penalty is execution. Your execution date will be September 24th. The court is now adjourned."

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

      Yeah, let's completely violate his right to a tiral of his peers...smh

      July 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jesse

    Please! This is a very calculating, intelligent individual who graduated with honors from college and working on his Doctoric Degree in a very specialized field of medicine. I believe he still knows what he is doing and while in solitary confinement, he self inflicted "Sleep Deprivation" upon himself so he would be and appear "out of it" in court. Why hasn't anyone in the media draw that conclusion?

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