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. rkdres

    more stellar reporting from CNN

    July 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rkdres

    As if no blood was ever spilled at the hands of religion and so-called 'god'. You're just as disturbed as Holmes.

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

    Huh...he was totally cognizant when he planned and executed the shootings and now he wants to play insane. Another stupid liberal lawyer trying to make a name.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vicster73

    Our politicians do not address the real issues here, gun control and mental illness. This boy is SEVERLY mentally ill. There must have been signs while he was growing up and they were perhaps ignored or denied. Any discussion of mental illness is taboo in this countryand the media. Immediately a mentally ill person is labeled psycho, evil, crazy, luni, etc. Had he been recognized and treated before hand all those innocent people would not have died. We need to address and deal with mental illness in this country and not be ashamed, in denial, or smug about it!

    July 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tanya

    This is a prime example of a genius gone mad like a rabid dog. He needs to die.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    Is there some problem with calling this per a terrorist and treating this case as such??

    July 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neil

      Home grown, saywhat, nothing but. Seems there's more terror here than in the ME, wouldn't you say?

      July 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Neil


    July 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nick

    12 murdered is an average month for Washington DC.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. B-ritt

    The reason why they are waiting around is because his lawyer could be saying "Well he could have mental problems, he could of done this because he has issues. If thats the case he needs physc help. He didnt mean to do this...etc" They are going to make any excuse in the book to keep him around. Thats the only reason he is still alive.

    Death penalty? I agree with it. But then again I dont. I would rather see people like him go to prison for the rest of his life and let the people in prison beat the living crap out of him for doing it. Letting him know that he will never be outside of prison bars again. Let him out to the dogs for a few minutes a day to get the crap beaten out of him then put him in solitary confinement for the rest of his life.

    BUT if they keep him around, who is not to say that he will hurt people in prison? Which brings me back to Why not just kill him now? There is nothing to prove given what they found in his apartment plus the fact that he didnt try to run from the cops when they found him. He voluntarily handed himself over with no fight. With the set up he had in his apartment I personally think he had plans on blowing it up.

    He needs to live with the fact of knowing he killed and hurt a lot of people. He needs to sit on that for a while and think about it. Hope that it eats him away. But, do you honestly think it will? I dont. He had the motive to do it for a reason. He wont give a damn about the fact he killed people. He is insane and needs to pay the price.

    Killing him or letting him rot in prison isnt going to bring anyone back or heal anyone of damage. Which is why he needs to suffer.

    In the meantime of them trying to "Prove" he did this they ARE just using our tax dollars to sit around and listen to his SOB story about why he did it. Who cares why he did it. There is NO REASON what so ever that you need to kill another person OR shoot up a damn movie theatre, or bomb a city, or crash a plane into a building filled with thousands of people. But people still do it. Why let them live?? Why let him know "Hey, you just killed 12 people and hurt 58 more. We are going to let you live and breath for the rest of your life in this building with thousands of other people." I seen an article on tv a few months ago where people actually enjoy it in prison when they have no home or no family. They get the medical care they need. They get the food they need. They get pretty much everything they need or want. So he is technically getting away with murder.

    Either way this man needs to die. And not at the expense of our tax dollars. Take his life away just like he took away the lfe of so many innocent people.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Brilliant idea, B-ritt, let's "save our tax dollars by doing away with justice system that has been the standard to which the world aspires and ensures human rights. We'll lynch the accused because we 'know' their guilty. Real intelligent. Yeah his guilt seems obvious but let our justice system work. This is what makes us different from the Taliban, the Soviets, the Chinese, and any number of totalitarians.
      Typical knuckle dragger, tea-party race to the bottom mentality- burn the house down, mob rule, every man for himself, scorched earth social culture.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • angela

      this is a sick thing . this person did . i personally think . he thought he will become famous . some peopel are sick . when the media is eating this up alive . i think someone does profit off of crazy people . that kill . i mean the media . as nicknames for the killer . i think the guy is mentally ill . you can tell off his look . you can tell the guy is off his rocker . even if the lawyer says his mentally ill . he should still get the death . and i hope some sick person does not profit off it this . which it hink people will . we live in a sick world now. alot of trash and alot of killing , and the media is going yes we are geting paid to put crazy people in the media and the guy knows that . the killer knows this . i think he said i love batman no one likes me anywyas and i will get famous .

      July 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • yes

      Let's just kill all of the white people.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Well said!

      July 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Name*joe joe

    I know it's a reason for everything,but i can't think of one that would make a mad man go to killing/hurting innocent people like this

    July 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann-Belinda Honablezh

      I can think of a dozen reasons, but just looking at the man, one can see mental illness written over his entire anatomy.
      I also say he will never be convicted, due to his mental health, if anything he will be placed in a mental hospital for the rest of his born days.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The District Attorney says the death penalty is several months away, but the way Holmes viewed death, 12 people had his will imposed on them at a moments notice without any warning, AND THEY'RE DEAD...WAY DEAD.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Name*Alex

    Once u take the life of another person u lost all rights, u must pay.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    This is the end result of the instant gratification culture, and permissive society today.
    Two hundred years ago if this happened, instead of Holmes being I.D.'d and going before the D.A. and the Judge Monday morning. Today already, there would of been a public lynching of Holmes. And there wouldn't of been any commercial sponsors playing out the money angle before they sentence the screwing he gets for the screwing he got.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    Love how people are trying to turn this into a religious debate!!! God allows us to make stupid choices. Its freedom get over it. Not His fault weather you believe or don't believe in God. Stay on topic people...... this young guy committed a hateful crime against this country and the only thing u can do is bash Christian faith.... seriously grow up

    July 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    When will society take responsibility and remember "we reap what we sow" All those people out there that figure "my little Johny wouldn't do that"!! The chicken's are coming home to roost.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
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