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. History Bear

    Why is it even a question of death penalty or no death penalty. His sanity is irrelevant. If he did it, execute him. If he didn't – turn him loose. PERIOD

    July 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Susan

    why on earth would the death penalty decision be months away? that does not make sense. it is not like this is a case that would have any mitigating factors. this was a cold blooded, calculated slaughter of innocent children, women and men.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. History Bear

    God did not establish government. man did. god is an interested bystander, watching, absorbing our actions, but he began the universe and now seeks to learn all. We are both good and evil and we are responsible for what happens, not god or satan or whom or whatever you believe in. Just humans.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David M

    "Holmes' hair was dyed a bright orange during his court appearance Monday".

    Wow. Hair salons in the courthouse? Why did they chose orange? It kind of clashes with this maroon jump suit.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. History Bear

    Don't bet on it.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*KUNLE

    Why killing the innocent people? Justice must surely be made.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Damn Yankee

    Apparently it was already died red during his cowardly and pathetic shooting spree.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Calonge1

    Parasite. Coward. Lost Soul. Lack of Self Love. No woman having peasent. Sissy. Borderline Batti Boy!

    July 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Damn Yankee

    @ truth. seems like you've got it all figured out. Maybe you could pray that god allows you to spell when posting public religious rants.

    July 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cntry

    There should be no court appearance for him. Apparently more than enough evidence to prove that he did this. One bullet to his body for each victim, with last bullet finally killing him.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe Six Pack

    Your caps lock key is stuck. Please take your keyboard in for repair.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve B.

    Your comment is more important than everyone else's. I can tell because you type in all caps.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve B.

    shut up

    July 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brian Myers

    God doesn't create governments. And if we are at the bottom of the garbage pail now, then I guess UP is the only way. That's good.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    I bet he really went to Penn State. He looks like one of those Joe Paterno fans.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
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