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. John

    Free him because he is christian terrorist.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Forget your meds this morning?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. mudbone9

    He'll be walking the green mile soon!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. sf

    god i feel sorry for the lawyer next to that idiot....look at her face...almost reads as if she's thinking 'damn, i got picked for this?"

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. David Kuklinski

    They dumped like 3400 mg of Serqouel in him or something.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Talk about the real problem

    Dude is a whack job, surely. But why is no one talking about banning assault rifles? That's the real story now. Again.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Melissa

    He should be HUNG! And yes our tax dollars will go to taking care of his crazy ass. Ridiculous.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Blessedbe

      AGREE!! Lets not waste time and tax payers $$$ any longer, if the person did the crime and its certain they have the right suspect, bring onto them the same act they did!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Blessedbe

    Who in their right mind would defend this guy!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      Casey Anthony's lawyer.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DR

    Death Penalty – Given that Colorado has only executed one person in the past 25 years he probably wont be put to death. Perhaps they can find a way to try him in Texas...

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carl

    CNN has really screwed the pooch with their video/audio in the courtroom.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      This was not CNN's video, they got it from the court, they had nothing to do with the up link

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      This was not CNN's video, they got it from the court, they had nothing to do with CNN

      July 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron Burns

    Give this kid an award and a reality show. I only regret he didn't kill more people, he is a modern day hero. Everyone LOVES violence until it happens to them, servies humanity right when someone comes along and shows them reality.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jack Be Humble

    He studied various mental health conditions in college. I am sure he fits at least one profile. At this point in time, Worldwide human societies are moving away from punishment and toward rehabilitation. It may be determined that he committed these acts by reason of mental defect. And, the obvious question is: what person in their right mind pretends to be batman and executes a dozen people, wounding scores more? The death penalty might be appropriate punishment; it is only way he can balance taking so many loved ones from their families and friends. It is a tough situation. Clearly, he should never be free in our world again.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bernard

    If he were a muslin, that would be a terrorist act, a Black guy, it would be a Thug, now that he is white, an on top of that American, He is crazy or physiologically ill. God bless the MEDIA.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Pilar Garcia

    This is an act of a sick and twisted mind. Can't even go to a movie, our country as a whole is getting sicker. This is one example of what is acceptable to some.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • beyondseptember

      Don't think anyone, anywhere has said that this is in any way acceptable.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • mj2280

      Who is this acceptable to? Some lunatic who goes on a rampage? It seems to me that this tragedy has been met with universal disgust.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Doctor

    Paranoid schizophrenia is a side effect of anti-depression medication. The pharma companies spend a lot of money covering that up.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Name

      That is just totally inaccurate and stupid.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • A real doctor

      This comment is bs. Schizophrenia occurs in 1% of the population worldwide and most often in young adults who have never taken any medication. It's a degenerative brain disorder. Most schizophrenics are not a danger to others. There's no evidence this person suffers from schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • facts

      hallucinations and dellusions are the side effect. Not paranoid schizophrenia. And that is a side effect of many types of medications. Millions take medications that do not committ these types of crimes. If someone is going to be violent, taking medication does not push them over the edge. Read medical journals and textbooks before you post. Also, the majority of schizoprenics, the vast majority I might add, are not violent. Read my dear. Read.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jodi

    What a BIG piece of crap he is, someone needs to paint a sad clown face on him and parade him through the streets so the public can thrown rotten tomatoes at his ugly face!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • J.Mark

      Rotten tomatos? More like pieces of hot iron.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
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