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. drap™

    Is he related to Carrot Top... .?

    July 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Name* Edwin Cruz Navarro

    Our prayers and thoughts are out to the victims and families of the Colorado incident. Hoping that justice will be served.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ma & pa

    How did the shooter come to be? A mad scientist linked into an unsuspecting embryo one day and altered it to become a soulless, amoral computer, born into human form with no spiritual link to humanity, unguided and drifting. Dirty trick on his poor family, though.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      @ma & pa, I'm not prepared to absolve his family. Bet you a dollar they're stereotypical California secular progressives. If you have no fear of judgment in an afterlife, you incline towards narcissism and hedonism in this life – which pretty much sums up Californian culture now. The late great Golden State, completely ruined by libberals ... you reap what you sow.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ma & pa

    Please excuse the directness of our above comment. We are grieving, too, and for every innocent person involved.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony Riga

    I gotta say thought who in their right mind bring a 6 year old or a 4 month old to a midnight screening of a dark violent film? I wonder who is insane here? Just saying!

    July 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tommie

    Good Job James Holmes! There should be more people like you who can down on the stupid people who who wana go see a movie at midnight. What's a 6 year old watching a moving past midnight? Some of you Americans are so dumb and ignorant!

    July 23, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ma & pa

    Where we are, the smell of field corn flowering is beautiful in the fresh sunshiney air. That's another thing that selfish useless evil murderer took away from God's children in that theater.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin Crum

    They need to put him to death

    July 23, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sandy stubblefield

    this mans heart and mind was taken over by satan he had this lost soul do his evil work. yes he has to pay for this awful crime. but we should pray for God to free him of satan hold and draw him near to him. forgiveness sometimes is hard but we need to try. God forgave and continues to forgive shouldn't we?

    July 23, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      @Sandy, yes, God forgives. Forgiveness and punishment are not mutually exclusive. God willed that justice should prevail; and since justice requires retribution for sin, God was quite prepared to punish sin. So we may forgive James, but he's still going to trial and if Arapaho County has the money to try it capital, his soul will be launched into the unknown to be judged there. May God have mercy on his soul.

      Colorado uses lethal injection, at the Sterling Correctional Facility recently moved from Canon City. Three are on death row there, ironically all for murders...in Aurora.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Richard Wolverton

    This kind of behavior is why our society is the way it is. This man doesn't deserve any give from our court system and should be tried to the full extent. Anybody that take lives for no reason obviously doesn't value his own.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Trevor b.g.wisconsin

    War is a loss and bloody to all humans.this is not friendly fire mistake or to many years as a military person mind stress overload. Sad when americans kill americans. We all want that john wayne duke handgun card to kill,bully,eye for eye blood even results. Be wild temper. Sad a child is dead cause politics in on gun laws. To teach gun safety way to late,and background check. Adults are allways buzy and off clock to there job. Fbi, home land security, cut jobs save money on that high budjet funds to high output. Our taxes more higher our take home money lesser. Per household. Thet the youth vote children justice rights. A youth was gun down blind reason why. He had fun wild bullets for all humans.why the crazy loose wild on the weak our kids youth the allways pay blood death,why no even justice now not in ten years.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mustapha I. Dogua kano, Nigeria.

    Holmes and Brevite are they TERRORIST? Or only Muslims are TERRORIST? Please be just to yourself, RAMADAN KAREEM !!!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • angela

      james holmes knew what he was doing . its n ot like he just open fire in a movie theater . he planned it out long before the killing started . he even knew ahead after the shooting was over... that the cops would be going to his house . this man cant use i am insane. its bs and everyone knows it . that man put alot of people in fear . and unsafe . i dont think they should reopen the movie threater either . i think they should tear down the movie theater . and make for the victims . i think that james wanted attention . and guess what he got it .what is sick he is crazy enough to kill but not crazy enough to plan ahead. i wont take my son to a theater again .

      July 25, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Alvin


    July 24, 2012 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. kenya

    .. tha man death sentence nat enuf, jzt em be toutured in 60 days and then burried full day a life under all Colorados citizens watch.. we'l neva expect such mascare in near future, bt Amerricas law so linient on themsevs bt brutual on Mohameds'

    July 24, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    People of the United States of America,
    Is the DA on this case for real?Months to decide whether to go for the Death Penalty?This is a No Brainer.
    If this case does not scream out for the Death Penalty then I don't know what does!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
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