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. mikeinmiami

    Great job CNN. You're going to make this guy more famous than Charles Manson, and in doing so you provide rich fodder for other psychos to kill and become equally famous. I trust this massacre has improved your ratings.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • marabou22

      what do you expect CNN to do? NOT Report the news? This was big deal. the news sites are doing theiir job by reporting on it.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      And nice work posting your comments mikeinmiami. CNN wouldn't post these stories if the public didn't take interest!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      What is CNN supposed to do? Not report the story? Get real.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • just me

      So, your solution is to ignore it and it'll go away...right?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Tabitha

      This it the best comment I have seen about this. That is one of the first things I said – they should have never said his name, showed his picture, or said anything about him. Now he is a celebrity and glorified in other sick individuals minds. But that's our media and our country.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Guy shouldnt even be allowed any type of attorney..

    His parents must have knew he was nuts.. yeah claim insanity.. this is bs

    July 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      What he did is horrible, but he is still an American citizen and has the same rights as the rest of us. In fact, it's probably for the better that he has an attorney, or else this would just turn into a bigger media circus. at least with an attorney the case can progress at a decent rate, instead of him playing stupid games to try and stall the courts.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • chase

      The Mother knew it was him when it happen. She must have known there was something going on in his head.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. Gem

    He looked like he was on sedatives....

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. sharon

    Firing squad, all family's affected can shoot at him !!!!

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      I AGREE!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Irony

      Why waste money on bullets? Rope is cheaper and trees are plentiful.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • flash

      Amen!! Best way to get rid of the sick POSt!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • lotus924

      exactly!!! Enough said!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. Candace

    I'm speechless. This man is sick. I wonder what he would be like if he wasn't sedated

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • alicia

      He this guy were not taking sedatives he will be killing like he did at the theater!!!!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Leslie


    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Aitch

      Sounds like a plan

      July 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. NorthVanCan

    He is clearly mentally ill. Bur who cares. lets get vengeance on this sick soul.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      You are just as sick

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. CassieB

    did anyone look at his face??? he showed completely no remorse for hurting or killing anyone! Its very sick and also sad!! how can someone just sit there and not shed a tear knowing that deep down inside he murdered and maimed innocent civilians.? If you ask me..MONSTER does not even begin to start to name the qualities in this man..God Bless those poor lost souls and the injured...

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • TheKid

      to the contrary – he looks SICK – SICK about what he did, sick about where hes going, and likely remorseful about what he did. He looks like hes gonna burst into tears.

      Make no mistake this clown is not mentally ill – crazy yes – mentally ill no. He needs to be tortured before death. And if his family knew of any inkling of what he was planning or if he was acting strange – they should get thrown in prison too. His mother obviously wasn't surprised here son did it. What does that tell you?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jennifer

    LOL, looks like reality just set in...

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel Howe

    Looks like a man who has not had sleep in days. Very flat and unemotional.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Fred

    I feel sorry for the guy, he obviously has some mental problems that lead him to do these horrific things. Time for our hostile and finger waving society to wake up to mental illness. Its not something one can control, much like eating and sleeping it's an action that happens whether you want it to or not.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Gem

      Fred - Agreed. People don't know what his mental state is as of yet.....

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • TheKid

      Fell sorry for him? If its not something a mentally ill person can control – then round up all mentally ill people I say and throw away the key.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      You feel sorry for the guy? I feel sorry for the victims. The innocent people he killed and wounded.

      Where do you draw the line of feeling sorry for a killer? Because as far as I'm concerned, ALL killers have mental problems because nobody in their right mind would murder innocent people for the sake of murdering. Do you feel sorry for Sandusky? Because he too obviously has a mental problem if he's raping little boys.

      I'm sorry but I'm not going to feel sorry for anyone who takes the lives of innocent people.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Fred I hope you fill sorry for the people who lost there lives!!!!! This guy is not sick in the head.. He had this planed for a while now. What we put him in a crazy house & pay the bill for him to stay there.. HELL NO hell we put people in jail for two years for killing dogs but kill a human he go to the crazy house... sad sad sad

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Candace

    I feel bad for his attorney. No one should be put in that situation

    July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      agreed but arent these the cases attorneys love cuz it gets them exposure? Tells us about humans in general..

      July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. Billy

    GUN CONTROL NOW!! Screw the NRA. It is way too easy to buy these guns. The Republican party is bank rolled by the NRA. Force the Republicans to stop taking these lobbyist dollars.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Lida

      Agree – Time we do something about gun! Gun could not kill anyone by itself, but guns are too easy to get in the US. GOP can go to hell with their guns along with this murderer.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • sammy sozo

      Dude, I like your passion. Also I admire Mayor Bloomberg of NYC for calling on Romney and Obama to make gun control a major issue in the election. It's time for some real exploration of solutions and yes screw the NRA. They're not nearly as powerful as they and the politicians think they are. It's time for someone to stand up and be courageous and get real tough on this issue. We'll see what happens.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. sk122598

    The death penalty is not the answer, folks. Yea, this man is evil and must suffer. I am angry and saddened just like the rest of us, but killing someone for killing someone to prove that killing is wrong, is plain ignorant and solves nothing. Prayers and thoughts to the affected families

    July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • sammy sozo

      Evil? Really? Faking it? How the F do you know that? Glad to see the usual array of experts on CNN have it all figured out. Who made you people judge and jury? Defective, yes. Very very mentally ill. Yes, certainly. BTW, it costs more to execute someone than to put them in jail for life.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      You are wrong, this man servers no purpose on earth. He is a cold blooded killer.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • JN

      Death penalty is just one answer to a corrupt society. We "kill" not to show that killing is wrong, but to terminate the infectious agent (person) that is infecting our society. When you have an infection you take antibiotics to kill the bacteria-infection resolved! You can pray all day long but until you eradicate the source of the infection it will not go away. Therefore, I strongly agree with the death penalty!!! And we shouldn't wait years before we execute someone on death row. It should be done swiftly when there is a clear and cut case as we have here. It is our inaction and lack of harsh punishment that has allowed society to become what it is today.

      There is also no reason why civilians should be able to buy any type of weapon besides a hunting rifle. There is no justification for being able to purchase a hand gun or a semi or automatic rifle.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Hard to plea for insanity when obviously this whole thing was premeditated. He knew exactly what he was going to do.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
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