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. chris

    Kil this stupid mofo

    July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. C.R.P

    Its time to bring back public hanging. I'll even pull on his feet.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Alyssa

    Disgusting that there are actually people out there willing to be a lawyers to fools like him. It would be nice if no one volunteered to stand up for that d bag.

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

      He has a public defender. It's their job.

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

      Alyssa are you serious? My god do you even finish public school??

      They have these things called public defenders, some of these comments are amazing and really make me wonder, do you guys not understand the justice system at all? Damn, turn off your TV's and read a book or something, because if the comments here are indicative of the mental state of America, we have WAY bigger problems than mass shooting.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. bullet875

    What a weird court presence! Was he sedated or put on some anti-psychotic meds? If so , I'd like to know who approved that because he was acting like he couldn't stay awake and had no clue where he was. Can he use that to motion for release on a technicality? I hope the hell NOT! This guy needs to rot in jail or get the death penalty for what he did.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Josh

    They should use tear gas on him and a firing squad.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • sick of obama

      YUP

      July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. LicenseToSteal

    He looks likes the lights are on, but no one is home.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Will

    HOLY SH*&#$&#$T IT'S SIDESHOW MEL

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

      SORRY I MEANT SIDESHOW BOB OMB AFDASDF I GOT TOO EXCITED

      July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. MyAK

    I think James Holmes is cool !

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. midwestmatt

    He's deeply mentally ill. He's as ill as the Tucson shooter.

    That's not an excuse but an explanation and by explaining the cause, you might be able to prevent it from happening again.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. eastsidedude

    Here we go..... gun control. Gun control wouldn't have stopped this. Jump off the bandwagon and do some research about what happens when you take away the public's right to defend themselves against the lawbreakers who will still have guns. We need NUT control.

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

      You're right, restricting the ability of nuts to get guns wouldn't work. Great thinking, Jed Clampett.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Primal 4 Life

    Something really stinks about this whole thing. Mass killers do not wait quietly to be arrested. They also would never give up the rigged apartment info. Plus there is no way he could afford 20 grand worth of equipment.

    I find it very difficult to believe he acted alone.

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

      Agree! Something is defintely up, why would they have to strongly sedate him like this anyway, especially for such a horrific crime?

      July 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. UMMMM

    This truly is tragic. I feel so sad for the families of the people killed, the family of this very sick indivdual and the families of all of the people now too scared to live normally. This country is lost and needs guidance. This man needed help and sadly was lost

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. digital

    Big deal only 12 greedy Americans dead???? While in Iraq and the rest of the world they are over a thousands!!!

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

      So we can't mourn the death of our countrymen?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike the Amerian

      ok we get it digital, you hate America and Americans.

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

      go away troll.. there was a 6 year old child here too. For the record, not all Americans are greedy, just the "me, me, it's all about me" ones.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • HZD

      The death of the innocent anywhere in the world is tragic. The words of a troll are weary at the best of times, but they are an affront to human dignity and compassion in the midst of such tragedy. It is shameful to see cowards who can only think of themselves and the petty enjoyment they garner from goading others all under the mask of online anonymity. If you think that your ideas are so worthwhile, go to Aurora and have the courage to speak face to face with those who experience loss. But no; we all know that you don't even believe what you write; if you cared at all about the loss of life, you would recognize the awful nature of the tragedy in Aurora.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. sick of obama

    parents must be so proud

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

      this is a tragedy for the parents as well. Sounds like a typical judgmental right winger. Leave his parents out of it, they are suffering enough as a result of their son's actions.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike the Amerian

      I'm your typical right-winger... I am no more judgemental than the rest of ye. Trolls are just trolls. Best to ignore them.

      July 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. halfpint

    He looks sad to me. That is an emotion CNN! I hope he is finally realizing the gravity of the situation and he feels remorse until the day he dies.

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

      Sad? To me he looks distant and disengaged.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Glades2

      The reality of this life and world always brings an abrupt end to the fantasy of a person's mind...

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