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. Brad

    You know what the big problem here should not be deciding on the death penalty, but how long it will take us to decide this. This is just typical of some of the biggest problems we have with the criminal justice system, the time it takes to do the obvious and the cost of that to the all of us. This should have already been decided upon a few days ago, with the method being the only thing left to decide. We need to take all the money that we will waste in this process and give it to all the families affected by this act. We need a few less lawyers and a few more folks that take the proper action. Send a message that we will act swiftly and they don't have a resort called a prison to reside in for the rest of their lives paid by us. and maybe so things will change for the better. My prayers and thoughts to all of those affected, lets not drag this out and put this part of their missery out of their minds.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • You

      That'll take way too long. Years of appeals, he'll plead psycho. Just shoot him and get it over with. I don't want my tax money paying for his upkeep. Kill him

      July 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Barry G.

    Don't death penalty cases take about twenty years to complete and millions of dollars to prosecute?

    This sure isn't swift justice.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brad

    PS. Accused or alledged? Give us all a break on that as well. Lets call him what he is and have the lawyers and civil liberties groups get a real job.

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

    when America rejects God he gradually starts taking His protection away. And evil starts in the land. This is one tiny example of what clever people can do with evil godless minds.

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

      Dont push your Christian idiocy on this one. Even your god should at least have the balls to interfer when children are in the line of fire. God nor the devil had nothing to do with this. Get off your high horse.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calm Dog

      The World Trade Center on 9/11. One example of what clever people can do with their god ON their minds.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • auicmon

      First of all GOD had nothing to do with it . It was the acts of a single moron who thought that killing people was basically fun. Children are innocent no matter what. Also didn't the bible say that GOD so loved the world he gave his only Begotten son...so GOD had nothing to do with this morons actions.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. pascal

    ...the stupidest thing i hear from the media is "...why did he do what he did? what motivated him?" WHO CARES!! like there is any plausible reason this piece of work can give to justify the killing of 12 INNOCENT people and injuring many others. Just drag this animal outside the city limits put a bullet in his obviously broken head and dump his carcus in the closest septic tank.
    In which case i will have more simpathy for the turds that have to mix with this turd!!!

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

    He should have been stripped of his rights after what he did. No one that has the mentality to do this should have rights. It's not justice. But you know what? Thats only my opinion.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Calm Dog

    I haven't figured out the booby-trap thing. He spent a long time setting that up. He had to have been sleeping in there with that stuff for a good while before he was done. And then the first thing he does is warn the police about it. ????????

    July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gstlab3

    This was a secrete and illegal government run psyops operation.

    The American freedom hating illegal gun ban treaty with the U.N. is about to go down.

    It pairs with the patriot act in that it strips all the last remaining protections we have from our own government.

    This poor guy has all the earmarks of a drugged brainwashed patsy the C.I.A. has used up

    If you saw the video of him in Court you know I'm right

    He looks just like the purported killer of John F Kennedy did right before he was gunned down on live T.V.!!!!!!!

    That was the secrete government telling anyone who knew the truth they would kill them even in public on live T.V.!!!

    I have first hand knowledge of these brainwashing techniques and the use of drugs to alter people and what they are thinking.

    It can last days, weeks, months and even years if the ques and prompts are not interrupted.

    If you can manipulate or otherwise change perceptions and beliefs and you can change peoples minds and ultimately their behavior.

    Not one person had a conceal carry permit was in this theater????

    Seems to me in the most gun happy country in the World someone would be carrying a gun legal or not that night.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimdog33

      You're not well.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gstlab3

    THIS IS ALL TO SURREAL FOR ME AS I HAVE INSIDE KNOWLEDGE OF PSYOPS AND HOW IT WORKS.,

    This was a secrete and illegal government run psyops operation.

    The American freedom hating illegal gun ban treaty with the U.N. is about to go down.

    It pairs with the patriot act in that it strips all the last remaining protections we have from our own government.

    This poor guy has all the earmarks of a drugged brainwashed patsy the C.I.A. has used up

    If you saw the video of him in Court you know I'm right

    He looks just like the purported killer of John F Kennedy did right before he was gunned down on live T.V.!!!!!!!

    That was the secrete government telling anyone who knew the truth they would kill them even in public on live T.V.!!!

    I have first hand knowledge of these brainwashing techniques and the use of drugs to alter people and what they are thinking.

    It can last days, weeks, months and even years if the ques and prompts are not interrupted.

    If you can manipulate or otherwise change perceptions and beliefs and you can change peoples minds and ultimately their behavior.

    Not one person had a conceal carry permit was in this theater????

    Seems to me in the most gun happy country in the World someone would be carrying a gun legal or not that night.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Started_a_defense

    Anyone notice in the video of Holmes that he was "acting" like he was dazed and confused. He appears to force himself wide-eyed and at one point sighs. I think it's intentional and the beginnings of an insanity case. Who's to say he's not though. Prayers and condolences to the innocent victims – regardless of your stance on assault weapon legality.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Allan

    i'm from Canada, the biggest problem in the USA is your gun laws..

    July 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Hurtin's

      I'm in Toronto. They don't work here, either.

      July 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lauravan

    The Death Penalty decision should have been made as he walked out of the theater. It's not a difficult decision when you see 12 dead bodies and dozens of wounded. If his AR-15 hadn't jammed there would have been dozens of dead bodies. I say he gets the needle!

    July 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. WaterWorldGuy

    I can't believe that he planned to do this and got into this biggest mess with everyone. I would like to take him to Real Haunt House and locked him there forever. So that way he will make more suffer everyday and eat his own rotten meals for him. Plus make him go alone without without see his friend and family for good. He should learn to live with this than send to dealth is not good one. I want to see him real suffer and scream every mins for rest of his life.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Heather

    Holmes is possessed. His intellect and his PHD doesn't make impervious to the spiritual world. We are spirit beings who operate through a soul, a mind, and a body. What happened was completely tragic and could have been prevented; there were warning signs with this guy. Most of the people, even his family, who dealt with him, commented on how odd and troubled he was.The inmates at the facility that he was being held in, said that he was spitting at guards, that his eyes were rolling back into his head, and that he was put into solitary confinement because he was "uncontrollable". It appears that Holmes was/is exhibiting signs of demonic possession. Regardless, if he is, he is still responsible for his actions, even if he were found to be possessed, because even then he would have consented to whatever activity it was that opened the door to demonic activity.

    Please lets not be so narrow minded to rule out the forces that are behind the scenes that are at work in everyday life and all human events. I'm not talking about aliens, or secret societies, or any conspiracies, I am talking about the spiritual world, and that we need to pay attention to it's influence in human affairs.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JD

    If more people were carying weapons in the theatre, he may not have killed so many people.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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