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. San

    How about banning gun sales to people who are on prescription medication for mental issues?

    July 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I think you mean "NOT on prescription medication for their mental issue."

      July 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*mds


      July 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Whatup?

    There is nothing to decide.. He is guilty with out question.. This is so ypical of our government at work and them being idiots and wsting tax payers money like usual. No wonder taxes always go up.....
    Kill the freakin idiot.. Watch he will spend the next 10 years on death row wasting tax payers money like all the others.
    He is evil in its rawest form.. He should have been killed that night....


    July 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeJoe

      No U are getting things backwards and not using advanced thinking skills Watup. First we figure out WHY....then hook him up to 4 tractors in granny gear pulling him apart real slow on PayPerView. All monies go to victims fund.

      July 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tactical Zombie Hunter


    July 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pop

    If every citezen was required to carry a gun, these things wouldn't happen.
    The gangsters and these nutcases carry guns either way. So don't give me the criminals will then have access to more guns. If we all carried guns, we'd all be safer because of it.

    There are some psycologists who will conclude that after rehab even this man should be let free if he's deemed 'cured'

    Yeah our gun laws are messed, the more guns we the citizens carry, the safer everyone else will be.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      Yeah, that's always how things go in places where most of the citizenry pack heat.

      I mean, who wouldn't want to live in Afghanistan, Somalia, or the Ivory Coast?
      Those places are as peaceful as can be!

      July 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      "If every citezen was required to carry a gun, these things wouldn't happen."

      Yeah, had I been in that theater I sure would have wanted more people firing weapons in a fog-shrouded, darkened, and confusing situation. Yup, I'd have felt so much BETTER.

      July 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      pops brain went pooped! this clowns brain has absorded wayyyyy too much gun powder! Its called gun nut syndrone!

      July 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. contradiction

    America is gradually rejecting God, so God gradually take His protection away and evil gradually starts spreaading.
    Some here say: why didnt God stop that innocent killing?? God is not going to do it. Because he gave man freewill. If he takes away freewill than we will become His puppets, His robots . Its tragic, but that is the consequence for CHOOSING wrong.
    If u are reading this, its Ok if you dont get it.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      It has to be one or the other doesn't it?

      To say that Holmes is an instrument of divine punishment is to DENY that he was a free agent in all this.
      You can't say BOTH that he was doing God's will AND that he was acting solely from his own free will.

      July 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 2012marandalaw

    Reblogged this on Marinchek-Marn.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. don in albuquerque

    All this talk about defending your right to own an assultt rifle because you might be assulted by a horde of rabid squirrels is simply ludicrous. What is wrong with these people. Of course I believe you have the right to own a gun, but you do not have a right in a peaceful (?) society to have a gun you can start a war with. I think it was an astute second grade teacher that instructed my class "Your rights end where the other fellas nose begins.": We reached the start of the other fellas nose decades ago. Time to end this time insane action. Ban semi auto except for military and law enforcement. You can have all the six shooter wheel guns you want.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • some guy

      Hey Don, I wanted to clear up a terminology error I see cropping up in these comments. The term "assault rifle", refers specifically to a burst or full auto capability. AR-15's (the civilian version of the M16 or M4, and also the rifle used during the shooting) are semi-auto only. Assault rifles are limited to the military and small amounts of citizen transferable M-16's that were grandfathered in before the full auto ban of 1986. These civilian legal assault rifles require extensive background checks and also command prices of around $20,000 due to their scarcity. I do not believe that legally owned "assault rifles" have ever been used during a crime. In addition, I would like to remind you that the 2nd amendment specifically protects civilian gun ownership for the explicit purpose of resistance towards a tyrannical government. Finally, I wish to point out that this killer was a determined individual solely set on killing as many people as he could. In this case, guns were his tools of choice. However, do not think that he would have been deterred had he not possessed firearms. The Oklahoma City bombing is a prime example of the destructive power one can wield without any use of firearms. Have a great day!

      July 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Concerened

    His appearance seems like an “act”, he is smart enough to plan out and execute this massacre, so in his mind he must fully believe if he acts “mentally unstable” then he can claim it. It takes someone with extreme intelligence and sophistication to graduate with a degree in neuroscience and graduate with top honors then go on to try and achieve a PHD. For him to all of a sudden be delusional, and appear to be on drugs is ridiculous. Even on anti-psychotics people do NOT act like that at all.
    It’s a freaking act.
    Next he will claim to be the scarecrow from the first Batman

    July 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cigarchomp

    Well, execute him if you think it will make a difference in how you /we feel – think how much better the Oklahoma City bombing widows feel now that McVeigh is gone. Obvously he didn't seem to mind this possiblity when he set his plan in motion.
    The one other thing I'm wondering is: Yes, having the whole audience packing heat may have stopped the death toll at two or three, but how many other homicides in the one to two range wold we have: This guy butted in line, took my seat, won't stop chatting,is wearing a tall hat, looked at me the wrong way,....

    July 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jimmy

    Please stop giving this alleged murderer any airtime. This whole act was an effort to get famous. Let's not help him in those efforts and get on with the prosecution. Without live telecast.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    Sure and don't even call this horror what it was – an act of pure terrorism.
    The bets are on that this terrorist Holmes would have as easier a time as that Norwegian terrorist.
    We in the West harbor a soft corner for terrorists of our own.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Martha Hopthwaite

    Does nyone know? Was he a Zombie Squad-er? Some teens from my town have also been collecting military gear and dressing up like they are military.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Keith

    In 1966 Charles Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas tower and started randomly shooting people on the ground. He killed 16 and wounded 32. He was shot and killed. An autopsy later revealed he had Glioblastoma brain tumor.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sachmo

    That really is not a becoming hair tint for the young man, he should really shelve it.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. YodaHart

    If this guy was from the middle east he'd already be in gitmo getting bottles of water poured down his throat. Just kill him and get it all over with.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fed up

      How did he have $15,000 to spend on guns when he was working at McDonalds????? Student loan money????? If this was another country he would be taken out and we would not be spending tax payer dollars on this menace to society!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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