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. BrendaLea

    He isnt ill. He isnt sick. He's evil.... He's not insane. He doesnt need " treatment". He
    Needs justice. We have a justice system and we need to
    Allow justice to be served. Without media coverage any
    Longer being a part of this case. Dont allow movies to be
    Made or books
    To be written that he cld recieve profits from. Choose a
    Jury and let him
    Face the consequences for his own actions.... He faces a dark future which he
    Chose to create
    For himself. I dont care if I ever hear another thing about him. I shun evil and it's
    Not my job to
    Decide his fate....

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

    This person is a TERRORIST. Shame on CNN and other news reporting networks for not referring to this deranged lunatic as a TERRORIST. Not all Terrorists are Muslim, and CNN is clearly CONTRIBUTING to the ISLAMAPHOBIA in this country by not referring to this man for what he clearly is: A TERRORIST.

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

      I wonder if the US Attorney will get involved–couldn't they decide it is a terrorist act, beyond whatever theory the state courts employ?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. W.D.

    The behavior is certainly a departure from the usual. I don't see how posters can make anything definitive out of it. Could be real, could be fake. Could be shock, sedation, loss of sleep, all of that together, or could be an act based on research he'd done in his graduate program.

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

    SICK man...twisted mind, completely desensitived to the world and people. This MONSTER needs to be hit with all the force of the law, death penalty needs to be considered in this case, he deliverately prepared this, went in there to KILL. Regardless of crazy or not, a sicko like this should not even be left in prision.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jack Jacobs

    Is the stand your ground law applicable here? Is that one of the defence arguments? This justice system is a joke

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. alvaro renteria

    Seriously ?!?!?!? I'm outraged this guy is getting the media attention, of someone who ran over a dog. This, what you call "ALLEGED" KILLER IS NOW OFFICIALLY A SERIAL KILLER AND U GUYS ARE SAYING ALLEGED AND SAYING HE DOESN'T LOOK FIT TO DO SOMETHIN LIKE THIS !!!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME ?! what does a SERIAL KILLER look like have you forgotten what Ted Bundy looks like , that man was his own lawyer ! I say you guys give this man the attention he deserves and that's like NOTHIN ! HE IS NOTHIN ! A COMPLETE WASTE OF LIFE ! IF THIS WERE A PERSON OF COLOR THERE WOULD BE NO "ALLEGED" KILLER ONLY , "TERRORIST", "SERIAL KILLER","MURDERER", OR somethin of that nature. I don't understand why it seems like the media is trying to portray him as " not capable" of doing somethin like this I hate to be the bearer of bad news but people like this ( James Holmes , Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, etc. ) Crimes have no face stop being judgmental. To me he looks crazy and perfectly capable.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sophie

    He appeared to be heavily sedated. His eyes would half close and then it looked like it was difficult for him to keep them open and focus. Whether or not he gets the death penalty, his life is basically over.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • riamb60

      He must have been sleep deprived and probably had some crazy fits of anger in jail.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    Waterboard him everyday for 50 years and put that on TV. I'm sure not many people will do what he did, if they see that.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Making faces for audience to think he's "crazy" "remorseful" "confused" "out-of-it". Don't be fooled. Cold-blooded, calculating sociopath. Planned horrendous murders for weeks. Killed defenseless innocent people cowardly. He studied behavior, psychology, criminology. He's now playing out act 2 of his cowardly, horrendous, shameful and pathetic plan. He's the worst kind of human being on the planet. The sooner he's gone, the sooner we can all move forward towards healing and searching for better.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sanjosemike

    I know it's illegal and would never happen, but to me the best solution is to simply provide him a cell with a small chair, a hook on he ceiling and a length of rope.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MNfree

    Well, here's a chance for the justice system to not make a debachery of itself. Hopefully it actually goes through the motions correctly without any slip-ups for once, and gets the correct verdict. Last thing we need is another Casey Anthony.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Little Man

    Aurora, your people are the greatest.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TF

    So we are to believe this exceptionally brilliant doctoral student spent weeks and months organizing this complex scheme all while going about normal day to day activities and now he's a drooling mess acting like he's oblivious to the world around him. I know we need to honor the victims, but please hurry up and lock up this subhuman piece of garbage for an eternity. I can only hope the prison guards 'accidentally' let him out with the other inmates one day. I heard they are chomping at the bit already. Paybacks are brutal. Rot in hell dirtbag.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Renee

    Just an act! Wish we were back in the old days...take his butt outside the courthouse and hang him.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hmm

    The guy is caught red-handed and the media is careful to call him a "suspect". Nice work.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Penny Nickels

      Red handed, and red haired too!!

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