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. D.

    He is possessed. Even jail inmates could not believe how he was acting, rolling of the eyes to the back of his head, spitting on police officers etc. They defintely Had to drug him- imagine him acting like this in court today, how is he supposed to stand trial like this? Given all of this, since excorcisms are a no, Kill Him!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. i12bphil

    This guy does not have a mental issue. He's not crazy in the slightest. Everything he did was cold, calculated and planned. A mentally ill person doesn't leave weapons in a hidden location outside a theater and prop a door to he can come back in. A mentally ill person doesn't carefully booby trap his apartment for after the crime. He knew exactly what he was doing, including the hair and 'Joker' ploy, which had the obvious purpose of setting up the insanity plea for after he was caught. This was done with complete precision and malice aforethought.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. They know

    I would like to know what his parents knew. There is no way they did not know something was wrong with their son. He was too detached from reality. All the planning he put into these crimes and no one noticed anything? Please. His mother was a nurse so she had to have known mentally he was off. There were signs long ago.

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

      What the parents "knew" is irrelevant. There is precious little parents can do for children once they are adults. Patient privacy rights prevent doctors from discussing adult children even with parents. Even when you report your own children to the police, they may not be prepared to deal with mental illness and they can't do anything unless a law is broken. The best you can do is get a 72-hour watch in a mental unit–then the person is released. If you think parents can 'fix" the problems of adult children or control what they do, you are sadly mistaken. Many times the "child" will not even talk to his or her parents. I know that some people who are blessed with healthy families congratulate themselves and think that other parents must be to blame for not having similar outcomes. I've seen many good people struggling to find real help for their children to no avail. But addiction and mental illness are more powerful than any parent. In addition–the vast majority of mentally ill people DO NOT COMMIT violent crimes. Predicting which few will must be near impossible. The "signs" are so much clearer in hindsight.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Omni

    I say put him in the nuthouse with the real crazy people. Give him shots all day that's going to take his soul. And when he 70 and has one clear thought, I hope he realizes that his life has been stolen from him and the only thing he has is regret. Now that would be justice.

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

    D. guy exaclty he is psycho and needs to be treated before we can charge him in court it is unfair agian i do not suppor this guy and i am hurt that he did this and i feel for family but eye for eye isnt right

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

    again gun control has nothing to do with this he was smart enough to make bombs could have been worse

    July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donna Clements

    In response to his demeanor... he is pulling the Joker, The Riddler and every other villian's blank stare of insanity.This guy was as sane as you and I... He plotted this out with percision and attention to every detail. He didnt care if he was caught. His apartment was meant to blow up between 12 am and 1 am. The time of his loud music in which a disturbance of peace would be called. One knock one open door and many more would be killed or maimed. NO insanity here folks. This madman was attempting to be one of Batman's villians. He sure did it!

    July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. watergirl

    It is very possible that he has been interrogated non stop and is suffering from sleep deprivation.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Annie

    hungry tiger vs holmes. victor is innocent.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    I'm sure some woman will want to marry him. He is going to start getting love letters soon from these women.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. T.rex

    I hope he gets the help that he needs.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe blow

    no trial,no mercy.....execute him now. Are we really going to waste money and time on this guy?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • shilo117

      Everyone deserves a fair trial. If we just start killing suspects without sending them through a court of law, our country might as well become a dictator ship. I'm sickened that you would ignore that fact, and say such a thing being an american citizen.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. andrew

    no nra guy medical marijauana will win the war on drugs its just a matter ofo time there are 18 states with mmj progams and hopefully will have 26 tstates by 2013-14 with 6 states currently having ballot it is a war the dea lost before veitnam

    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jerry

    "Domestic terrorism charges would not be something state prosecutors would consider in the case, Carol Chambers, Arapahoe County district attorney, said Monday." - WHY NOT?

    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • anchorite

      Because the charges should sort of fit the crime?

      July 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jady

    c'mon why does everything get turned into a race issue on these comment sections? that perpetuates racism, it's only the truth because people keep making it the truth. Fact is, is he will still probably get a death penalty regardless of race because race really isn't a factor in this.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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