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. Dickie

    I make no excuses for this man as what he has done is unimaginable. However, in respect to his facial expressions, his statement of being the Joker, his irratic behavior and voicemail messages to a gun range owner, leads me to believe that he is suffering from a mental disorder that could include paranoid schizophrenia among others. Again, I make no excuses for this man but I don't see the face of a cold blooded killer as much as I see a person who is not well.

    God bless the victims and their families. I can't even begin to imagine what they must have gone through and what they are continuing to go through. May justice prevail.

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

    What an idiot. Everyone knows that the Joker has green hair...

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

      "Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday." ?? They were dying his hair in court? That's odd.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Name*kamal

    I believe who so ever killed one with cutlas,shall be also be kill with cutlas.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Engineer in Raleigh

    A few years ago, we had a similar shooting here in NC. The perp was found insane. A couple of years after that, he was caught smoking weed in a freaking gazebo while playing the guitar on the campus of the nut house. Screw that. Fry this kid crispy.

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

    A tragedy for 13 families.

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

    Please commentators, do not forget what his years of training are in!!!! He knows exactly which demeanor to portray and when. May be ill, but knows how to portray "insanity". Knows how to portray sane too!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Weird...

      Not defending him at all, but this was a psychotic break. You can't say he was sane but he was pretending to be insane so he could commit a sane act only to claim insanity. That's just insane.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. LLTiNT

    This p.o.s. should be shot once for every person he killed...then burn him. What causes someone to make such brutaly insane decisions?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • margo

      This is why these massacres go on and on:
      No Gun Control, violent movies, violent video games, violent TV shows, most are violent. Violence is ingrained in people this way. Shockingly easy access to assault weapons and huge amounts of ammo no questions asked is deplorable, and parents who don't give a damn what there kids are up to. They don't bother to understand their kids, their too busy.

      Until people stop buying this violent crap and we get some real gun control laws, these massacres will continue as they have been. We the people are the only ones who can change this. Our government certainly won't and more people will get hurt.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. andrew

    this is bull with the talk of death penalty the guy obvisoly had a switch go off and lost it key woerd lost it meaning he wasnt thinking straight during the act fo we give a man who kills some one a in dui death penalty and really is the death penalty the god thing to do does it not say in bible an eye for an eye is a sin so even tho some one murdxered they shoiuld be murdered legally were talkingg about a human being some body who should be in a hospital and shoul have been and im glad were tlaking about gun control when that couldnt stop these cases from happening as we all know he had bombs so he could have just made pipe bombs and let them loose if he didnt have acces to guns and it could have been worse
    and im so glad this has tooken the eyes of amercians off the issue we need to be focused on and that this bulgaria bombing wich is leadign to a armed conflict in middle east

    July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hogarth

    All you people screaming for blood are no better than he is.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TF

      pretty sure I am better than this guy

      July 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J.D. Hog

    I've seen this show before, and was just reminded why I don't do this. Everyone go and be nice to your family and be thankful it wasn't them there on opening night.

    This board doesn't matter... the loved ones, the fact that they are alive do.

    Goodbye everyone.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scott

    He's faking it. Never met him, just getting a strange vibe just by viewing the video & pics of him. I feel that he's going to end up taking his own life.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. margo

    As long as people can buy huge amounts of ammunition over the internet, buy semiautmatic guns of all sorts that can kill lots of people at once, as long as we have ZIP for gun control in this country, these massacres will most definitely continue as they have since Columbine.
    The media places too much reporting on the dram when they should be reporting how much needs to be done with gun control. There will always be the mindless crazies out there but we don't have to arm them assault weapons to carry out their evil. We should always remember the victims for sure but lets us get active and get these killing machines off the market. Parents should also start paying attention to what their kids are up to. There are always red flags with this criminals but they go unnoticed by those who live with them

    July 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. neednewGov

    Already seeing signs of the "I'm crazy" performance. In reality, this trial should not last more than an hour or so and the execution shouldn't take any longer than 10 secs.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • @neednewgov

      Agreed. Death Penalty doesn't currently deter people because there are so many escapes ("I'm crazy") and it's not immediate.

      This isn't difficult. Give him his trial and after he is found guilty, take him out back and end it. For the Christian, this is a Biblical practice.

      For the evolutionist, it's survival of the fittest, so why do you care? We are animals remember? Get over it.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Don

    Sorry, but if I were the cop that he surrendered to, I would have probably been arrested myself, because I would have just shot him, period. I know it's wrong, but I really do think I would have pulled the trigger on him.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Whoa...lets not make this a gun control issue. I see this every time a fool goes on a rampage. What do you think the outcome would have been if there were other responsible "armed" citizens in the theater? The biggest deterrent from crime is the criminals knowing there are citizens carrying weapons.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • neednewGov

      The outcome of having a roomful of gun carriers would have been more dead. GUNS DO KILL PEOPLE. If this guy was carrying a sword or a bow and arrow he would have been taken down early.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texan

      In a darkened theater and with all of the "chaos", would an armed citizen or several armed citizens have helped or added to the bloodshed?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • shilo117

      I agree 100%. Just because a few bad apples spoil the bunch doesn't mean you should throw the whole batch away. Its true in my state not to long ago a man went on a stabbing rampage with a knife. Then a citizen with a CCW permit drew his weapon and forced the suspect to the ground, and waited for police to respond. That man saved many lives. The 2nd amendment is an important one, that some people don't realize has a purpose. If we start giving up our 2nd amendment rights what rights will we give up next. If we get ride of our gun rights we might as well rename our country the United Kingdom of America, and start making our citizens so mad that there are riots in the street every month.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
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