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. MIKE

    That is what is wrong with the system-he should be hung by the neck until dead in front of the movies theater by the end of next week for all to see.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      MIKE, move to Samalia.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Weldon Gebhard

      No! Piers Morghan wants rehhabilitatiion at his expense?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iceman

      Well Mike you are in luck, there is a place that has been known to do things similar to what you suggested, it's called the middle east. How soon can I expect you to move there?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobber

      He should be paraded through the streets before his execution so people can spit on him.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. D.

    I think they will kill him in jail somehow, inmates, FBI, whoever- the magnitude of his "crimes" are hideous. before his trial is over. Count on it!

    July 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mistro

    Hmmm a solution without the death penalty that doesn't drain us financially: A theme from the movie Escape From New York. Pick an island like Bermuda to be inhabited by only the over-the-top criminals. Fly them over the island and push em out with only a parachute. Let them survive amongst the rest of their kind in seclusion.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. diana

    We should not waste our time with this animal. This animal should be executed ASAP. No mercy for him.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      I would give him "due process" as required by law but limit the procedure to one week – then sentence is carried out [hopefully death]

      July 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Abraham

    AMERICANS are very narrow minded people.
    They judge people by their looks, their accent etc.
    White American mass murderer gets all kinds of legal options before he is even tried in the court. AMAZING.
    He is not even labeled terrorist......................Imagine a little darker skinned with middle Eastern looks guy doing the same thing he did in the theater...Will he even have a chance to see lawyer ?

    July 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      Well that would depend on if he was an American citizen.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I don't care what color, accent, religion, or area your from, If you do something of this nature killing is the best thing for you

      July 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I think it's a little narrow minded to assume that all Americans are narrow minded. Though to your credit, I do agree with you that it would have been different if someone with Arabic roots would have been labeled a terrorist. Though keep in mind that although this is happening a lot right now in the USA, this isn't a distinctly American problem, it's a human problem.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      That depends on the arresting officer not the average American.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. maddie

    Dude was given sedatives, but I guarantee that he is trying to act like he is insane. He's not insane. Just trying to fool everyone. Don't be fooled.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    you people will never understand. this was staged by obama and his campaign to get the poll numbers up and there is a bill about to pass that gives the un the right to take away the second amendment. this was yet another false flag and if you domt see that, i feel for you and your lack of intelligence. put your trust in the infallible government and the infallible media and you deserve everthing you get.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      dave... ya gotta STOP huffing that glue!

      July 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • OK

      Dave, you need to seek help. Soon.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Dave, take your meds. Yeah those right there on the counter. Those are yours, you need them.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron

    And what if he is truly mentally ill. Schizophrenia is a very sad disease. I've seen people who have killed themselves due to this illness. It's like an ongoing hallucination. We can't bring back these people by acting like animals ourselves. We can put him in a place where he can't hurt anyone anymore.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      Your solution doesn't fill the need for "revenge"

      July 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Please Note

    Vehicles are not designed nor sold as deadly weapons; Guns are designed and sold as deadly weapons.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Laura

    Fry him

    July 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Josh

    This doesn't just happen to someone who was that normal and intelligent. There is something going on here that we don't know like, why did it seem as if he was hallucinating at his hearing? This guy worked at a camp for kids, for old people, and graduated college. Things like this don't just happen. People snap but this was obviously a good guy. Something happened to his brain and it wasn't stress. He has been locked up and appears to be on psychedelics. How is he getting them? I know a tripper when I see one. I hope they check every possibility of this situation instead of pulling a queen of hearts. Something just doesn't sit right with me.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jodi

    Yeah put him in a place called Hell. True not sure why a red flag didn't go up when he bought all that ammo, come on people open your eyes, there is too much leniency for buying things and all people want to do is make money and they don't care what they sell or to whom. But in any case, this nut case needs to be killed now!!!! He is useless to society.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Richard

    I think he should be put down like we would put down a rabid dog – not out of judgment, but, because there can be no "cure" for his "condition" and his "condition" is too dangerous to tolerate.

    He is a cancer among us. When we discover cancer in our bodies, we cut it out or kill it. We do not nurture and care for it at the expense of the body.

    Apart from scientific research to discover what made him do what he did, I see no reason to keep him alive.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fjk

    So this guy bought guns from from 3 separate stores in a short amount of time but no red flags come up anywhere? Nothing came up on the computer screen at Gander Mtn or Bass Pro that made the clerk say "Hey boss, we might have a problem here?". He buys 6000+ rounds of ammo through the mail, and has 90 packages of things delivered to school and home – no one notices anything? He buys tactical and bulletproof armor that probably needs a law enforcement and/or military licesnse to buy, but somehow gets that also? It's going to be interesting to see how this all came to be.

    As for this heartless psychopath, I can't say he will ever get what he deserves. No punishment will be harsh enough for this poor excuse for a human, and nothing will ever bring those poor 12 people back – who only went out that night to try to have some fun.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. OPEN400

    No need for all the wasteful leagal procedures. Pick a jury this week. No need to hear his life story. This was a calculated act. Have the trial next week. Excecute him the following week.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49