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. Abel

    DO NOT GIVE HIM THE DEATH PENALTY!!!
    Throw him in general population- you know what they do to people like him in general population- he will be torn limb-from-limb, the sissyboy will either die or become someone's boyfriend or a 'gang-toy' in the showers. But IMHO, he won't last a week in general population and that is EXACTLY where he belongs.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeke

      I disagree.....he belongs on a chain gang doing back breaking work in 110 degree heat day in and day out. We will see how "Insane" he is when that heat and back breaking work makes him realize how good he had it. Scratch that....Chain gangs are only allowed for non-criminals with jobs. Prisinors who commit crimes like these are exempt from hard labor.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • MouseD

      Can't throw him in GP all you liberals would cry he would be hurt in GP.....

      July 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      Shut the hell up moused , your a richie rich boy lovin, ignorant conseritive punk. Go crying to your fellow aryan nation bros in prison before u become thd G/P ho!

      July 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joan M

    He has a look on his face like "I don't know why I'm here" and it looks like no ones home. I'm sure its so he could plead crazy but with all the planning that he obviously did, hes quite aware of whats going on. He definitely deserves the death penalty.What a horrific thing to ambush innocent people in a movie theater AND to booby trap the building he was living in, attempting to kill the innocent people living there. What kind of monster does things like that? What would be going through a persons mind to come up with something like that? I wonder what kind of childhood he had and what did he go through (if anything) to make him want to do what he did. Nothing could make a person want to hurt innocent people no matter what happened to him. Nothing would justify it. He still deserves the death penalty. Not after letting him live another 30 years though. He deserves swift justice.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ben

    Also if the conceal & carry was in full effect like our American rights state they should be old carrot top would of been a smudge on the wall not in court trying to look insane but in a morgue cold & never able to act on insanity ever again our system is corrupt & crooked as burglar stealing from a baby stand up America we are beginning to live like the 3 rd world countries we spend millions trying to make a better place

    July 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • OK

      What exactly do you think is "not in full effect"? Colorado has some of the most lax permitting processes of any state.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Yes, because a dozen questionably-trained citizens firing into a darkened theater filled with smoke would have saved lives, right?

      July 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calm Dog

      I have absolutely no problem with someone blowing this guy away to stop his rampage, but two-hundred individuals in a dark theater in a panic situation pulling out their pistols and popping away? Hmmm... What could go wrong?

      July 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. vandi

    where those who are against death penalty ? I haven't seen one of them yet?

    July 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      I feel we should really look into the background of this sick man before we weigh judgment on him. Maybe the problems caused this poor soul to just snap.............Wait a min! That was the drugs kicking in , The real s kel says HANG THIS FOOL!!! :-{

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

    Death penalty is too good for this guy. I say lock him in a cell for life with 3 of the biggest and fatest sodomites imaginable.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      This will happen anyway, even if he get's the death penalty.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Zeke

    If he had the mental capacity to put all the pieces together to shoot into a crowd of movie goers....Took planning!....Means he is and was competent as he planned it. I don't think anybody is sugessting this person can be rehabilitated as much as the dead can be reanimated....but he should be eliminated before more try to imitate it. Al the poor sapps saying he had this or had that does not hold water. He should have had the guts to turn the gun on himself and squeezed. But he did not. Is it societies fault....a partial at best. But for all the ills of society....most don't go to this lengths as the world is way rougher in other parts of the world. From what I read this gy was on top of the academic world....or was he? Pitty will only invite more of the same.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bobbb

    Hey I'm with everybody else, they need to actually skin the guy alive and feed him to the buzzards, I am just curious as to who is his lawyer and judge? That lawyer chick pulled the short stick. They are going to owe her for a long time to come.

    July 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KN

    Has anyone thought why an intelligent person would dye their hair red-orange to be the joker when the original and movie versions of the joker has green hair? A failure to research? A last minute error?

    July 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Because he is crazy. Prolly his actions are sinking into mind and he just wants to be somebody else.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wayne

    Brian Ross of ABC said today that the guns used came from Fast and Furious.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Doen't matter what he said, the guns came from Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nighthhaaawk

      Brian Ross had better have some serious sources! Remember what happened to Dan Rather!

      July 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Wanye...Brian Ross is a moron. The police have already stated where the guns came from, and it wasn't F&F.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jake

    That guy is really mess up. I do not mean that in " he is mess up for shooting people" I mean it as, there is something seriously not right in his brain. Every time we see a criminal in court, he or she holds a stern expression or guilt and often get the blank i don't care face. Holmes's face is crazy.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tilmeismoney

    The girl I wanted ot marry left me for a guy with a phd in psychology, her mom approved of this Mrs. PHD. She got what she deserved. Were they ever suprised.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tariq

    "Domestic terrorism charges would not be something state prosecutors would consider in the case," Why? Because he is an all-American white guy? Why is the definition of terrorism twisted when a white American is involved?

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Calonge1

    Just what I thought. Looks like a clown and disstressed. Complete coward. Even God has his S- list. Believe that. Your time is coming you parasite.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GaPeach

    Death by firing squad is the soution for him! An eye for an eye.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shawn McFadden

    I don't care how he looks now. The fact of the matter is like Nidal Hassan, he Knew what he was doing every step of this. From him acquiring arms and equipment on the internet, to rigging his apartment with all kinds of explosives, to executing his shooting spree. Remember, this man is well educated, a grad student in fact. It's very hard for me to believe that this guy's going to plead insanity and get it.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
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