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)

    Oh don't worry ther are a whole range of gun issues on board for after elections, a lot have been going silently into effect, just ask the importers, and no. the supply is not unlimited.
    Seems many people forget the "Cruel and. unusual" punishment clause", then again if droae and quarteting was allowed at publis displays there would be standing room only carnivals that no gootball stafium in US could hold the spectators
    The veneer of being civilized is mighty thin.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Idol Girl

    I agree with what conservative pundit, Bill Kristol, said on the issue: "“People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles. I don’t think they have a right to semi-automatic, quasi-machine guns that can shoot hundred bullets at a time."

    July 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Idol Girl

      High capacity magazines and military grade weapons have no place in the hands of the average citizen of a civilized nation. End of story.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Smith

      The 2nd Amendment wasn't written with hunting and sport-shooting in mind. A government with a monopoly on firearms is far more dangerous than every "mass-shooter" combined. Learn from history. Government "devolving" into tyranny can't JUST happen to "that other country". A government should NEVER be allowed to out-gun their employers (the populace). It's already like that, it should not be allowed to get worse.

      ”An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”

      July 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pete

    Man,quit spending our money and time.When its so blatant that he killed people for no reason there shouldn't be any trial,plain and simple,no more Charles Manson deals,get rid of him,he's getting me sick and I'm a responsible gun owner,its just takes one ,doesn't it, to ruin everything and everybodies lives.Ruin him and his family so they can pass it along,so this may not happen again,enough is enough!!

    July 23, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Idaknow

    If this is not terrorism then what is? This barbarian should be called a terrorist and what he did should be called terrorism.
    This incident goes to show that profiling does not work. The security agencies should look at everyone and not just at a particular section because they belong to a particular religion. This incident should be considered a
    failure of Dpt of home land security. By not
    classifying this as an act of terrorism they are
    just trying to cover their 6. This horrible terriorist action shows that the Dpt of Homeland security is completely unprepared .

    July 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ann

    Clever boy! Sleepy, dazed look with red hair. Wow. I wonder if he ever presented himself this way while he was studying neuroscience in his former PhD program. Or maybe he was dazed when he carefully, thoughtfully planned his attack for 3 months in advance. I think we should feel sorry for him...he didn't mean it...

    July 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ann from Omaha

    my apparently misguided belief was that if an 'emergency' exit door was opened, and did not close, an alarm would sound.
    guess I was completely wrong.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ann

    P.S. I mean, well said in response to B-ritt's comments.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    CNN. Please don't post any more articles about James Holmes, untill James Holmes IS dead.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ed Smith

    Did someone call this guy "right wing"?! In your dreams. This guy is on the left. Do your homework.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Adam Johnson

    one word – " COWARD "

    July 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MH

    Shame on all 24 media outlets for their coverage of this news story. They are exploiting, and profiting from pure misery and they take the coverage way too far and incite the lunatic copy cats our there. How about 10 minutes of coverage per hour? Have an evening of celebration of the victims and a fundraiser, YES. Have a phone number on your ticker and website where people can donate, YES! But have 24/7 coverage of the carnage and the evil and the fear, NO. I'd still like to know what is going on in the world. The media would argue that it's we the viewers that dictate the news. BS. We watch what is on the screen.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    When he get's to the courtroom, return his machine gun to him..loaded, and ask him if he is "the joker".

    July 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Oh yeah, when you give him his machine gun back, make sure it's loaded with blanks.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ant

    I hate to say it but he might receive the insanity plea... Example, the idiot who tried to assassinate President Regan receive "insanity" n u would have never thought he should have got that plus he plotted the failed attempted.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sachmo

    "Dazed and confused", he should do well behind bars, he'll fit right in.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
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