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. Gudone

    You have kill/torture him slowly and keep him alive.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. andyoo

    afro arfo (his hair) circus circus (the media)
    afro circus
    afro circus

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike the Amerian

      ok we get it andyoo, you like being random. go away.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. Den

    Penny – I do not know how you can be so lighthearted regarding this tragedy. This is the exact problem with society today more and more things are made a joke out of. That should not have even been printed.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. rob

    this guy is wack... but I do like his hair

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike the Amerian

      Ok we get it rob, you like to make jokes especially when the situation doesn't call for it.

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

    I'm not a malicous or hateful person, but lets face it, the loved one's of the victims will never get closure in a case like this- the best outcome would be for Mr Holmes to take his own life and spare the rest of America the expense, misery, and future heartache...

    July 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gudone

    You have to kill/torture him slowly and keep him alive.

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

    He may have had the knowledge and expertise to create a poisonous gas like cyanide....

    You can't stop a mental case with stricter laws.....

    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. elvinmerij

    "Shy and reclusive" – ah yes, isn't that what we all want to hear. "He was a loner ... anti-social ... kept to himself ... tried to say hi and he looked the other way ... grumbled to himself..."

    As frightened Americans, this is what we want to hear. We're frightened of everything. Frightened of our whites not being white enough (so buy this detergent). Frightened of dropped calls (so buy this cell-phone plan). Frightened of foreign places (so National Geographic shows us a kid in Cambodia wearing Nike sneakers).

    So everybody can now breath a sigh of relief - he's DIFFERENT. He's not us. We (to our relief) are normal; he's not. Ah, we can sleep better now.

    Thank you commercial, ad-selling media for giving us what we want ...

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

      Ok we get it. You don't like civilization.

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

    Nothing less than Drawing and Quartering should remedy this one. Read the victims' page.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. phaque2

    It was only a matter of time before Roand McDonald lost his mind and went on a shooting spree. He was spending too much time with Grimace and the Hamburgler lately.

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

    Bubba is waiting for him and what a lovely pair they will make.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ty

    Folks get over it? We generated this violent behavior by allowing someone to go to graduate school, major in medicine, do a good job, then do this? I hope you are not in the military USAP.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Griffin

    The Young Man who shot all the persons in Colorado should go through a trial and get life not die, life to think about what he did (hopefully a long time) and the hero's we should have is the people who helped each other and the cop's who went aganist policy and carried the shot to the hospitals in their car's thinking only to help not rules and teach our children and grandchildern that the movies are only a movie and pretend and you can not emulate, talk to the children and stop this madness early.

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

      Sorry Mike, if that were my family, I would want him to die. He can think about it while he awaits his death sentence. I'm quite ok with being called barbaric.

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

      Absolutely not.
      He should be given a fair trial and then, pending being found guilty, he should be publicly executed by hanging.

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

      You assume he has a rational mind. Obviously this is not the case. As long as he never walks free again is all that matters.

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

      Give him life? Put him to death. The taxpayers shouldn't flip the bill to keep someone alive when it can go toward rehabilitating criminals who actually have a chance.

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

      People like him have no remorse for what they do,. He needs death, he is not going to be good to society. Just look at him in the courtroom no remorse can't even look at the judge in the eyes. Hes crazy and they need to FRY him!!!!!

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

      He shouldn't spend life in prison, because then we will be paying for this sorry excuse of a life form forever. I am so sorry for all the victims and their families. Let's see justice served...very harshly and quickly!

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • hypatia

      Do you seriously believe that punishing the taxpayers who have to keep that rabid POS alive is the answer? Put him down like the garbage he is and save us all the trouble.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • brent guy

      LIFE !!!!!!!!!! are you going to foot the bill for the rest of his life..... i sure as hell dont want to pay for him to set in jail for the rest of his life........ only answer to this question is DEATH !!!!!! and real SOON !!

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

      Well said, M. Griffin. Could not have said it better. Let's remember our victims and family, pray for physical and mental healness for these families. and take time to explain to our children its OK (its human) to seek help if they need it. I believe his parents may have known sometime of underlying psychological problem.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Well said. Also, let's reflect and pray for victims and their families and friends whom are suffering. We need him as well as others that commit such senseless evil acts, to be kept alive so they can somehow, someday understand they took human lives. My heart and soul go out to all the victim's and their families. May prayer and strong faith help everyone heal.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. andyoo

    what a idot...kill people and at least take a bullet to his own head....save tax payer money on life sentense..
    I don't want my tax money to pay for his food.
    he is a waste of oxygen.

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

      I agree with you 100% – the should have gagged him as soon as they put him in the patrol car, wouldn't have been good for the newspapers but it would have been the right thing to do.

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

      Learn to spell.
      Calling someone an idiot (or as you said, 'a idiot') and spelling as atrociously as you did makes you come across as stupid.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. dennis

    Has anyone considered that this guy was raised in a culture (this is also the culture of the other commenters on this site) of extreme physical and psychological media violence? Whatever his motive for this terrible event all he has to do is watch a "modern" action movie for ideas.

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

      You got that right.

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

      Yet millions of other people in this country can seem to handle the violence you allude to. Straighten out your knees, your jerky reactions are devoid of logic.

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

      Yeah! lets ban all the movies, games, and TV shows!!! Only the Kardashians can stay on the air. And then we can burn the books!

      Great comment- I'm sure that will solve all of this countries gun violence.

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

      I am so tired of that excuse. A 24 year old going for an advanced degree knows killing is wrong whether or not he sees simulated killing in a movie or video game. Are we to do away with everything negative in video? Nothing on TV but more episodes of My Little Pony? Hogwash.

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

      Have you ever considered that people make their own decisions and should be responsible for their own actions? Quit passing the blame – this guy was nuts, plain and simple.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Niles

      yea sure Dennis, let's put the blame on someone other than the shooter.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Pedro

      That is total bull, you may as well blame the victim.In this world there is such a thing as evil, and this red haired lunatic represents that, he deserves death period no other justice will suffice.
      Blaming society is just another cop out, wah wah maybe they took his barbie away when he was little?

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • dameon5

      Dennis,

      The problem with this argument is that millions of other people are raised in a similar environment as this individual and never harm another person.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • cxc

      Just shut up.

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

      Dennis, Don't blame culture on this. You and I grew up with the same culture and at least I can say I am not Crazy enough to go shooting innocent people.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mirza

      We are all exposed to the same media. Why don't the rest of us commit such massacres? Your comment has no substance. Evil people will always find excuses, such as bad mental health, the media, environment, etc. Do not aid them in making such excuses for sadistic behavior like this. Their reasons don't matter, only their actions do. The fact is that he took the lives of 12 people and changed those of many more. He should be skinned, I couldn't care less whether he is insane or bipolar.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • dramaqueen

      Um...a culture of violence is what most of us grow up in...doesn't mean I'm gonna use that as an excuse to massacre innocent people...and people need to stop saying he is or obviously mentally ill...mentally ill people typically show symptoms of mental illness gradually and typically "snap" suddenly...this guy took months to plan and carry out murder..it was calculated and methodical..he's not ill, he's just evil. its funny that when a muslim, does what this guy does, he's a terrorist, a black guy is a thug and gangster, but a white "educated" male does this, and he's automatically labeled mentally ill. This guy is a terrorist and a thug. I'm not trying to bring race into this because regardless of who it is, evil is evil but ppl need to stop labeling this guy as mentally ill b/c its obvious, as a lot of other profilers and psychologist have said looking at his background so far, that he is psychopathic which doesn't necessarily denote mental illness.

      July 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryansco

      I hope you are joking!!! While I agree that there is a lot of junk on tv to what we are exposed to, but that is a a terrible excuse!!! There are millions upon millions of people in this country who view violence in the media and do not act in such a manner! I dare you to take the murder rate of any major cityor this country and divide it by the overall population of that city or this country as a whole and you will see that the percentage is a hundreths, thousands or more of a single percantage! Iam not saying that violence is a non-issue because that small of a percentage can strike fear in an entire population at times.

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