Monday, July 23, 2012

Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes appears in court

Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes appears in court

Holmes' public defenders enter the courthouse, July 23, 2012. (Jason Sickles/Yahoo News)
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. ET: James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado theater massacre, appeared in a Colorado courtroom on Monday. A judge informed Holmes there were grounds to continue to hold him for 72 hours.
Holmes appeared dazed: his brow furrowed, his eyes opening and closing often. His hair was died red. He did not speak.
The preliminary hearing lasted for about 11 minutes.

CENTENNIAL, Colo.—The public will get its first look at the alleged movie theater gunman Monday morning when suspect James Holmes appears in a Colorado courtroom.
Monday's hearing, which will be broadcast live on television and the Web, is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. MDT (11:30 EDT) and could be very brief. Under Colorado law, Holmes will be advised of his rights, but few other details could emerge.
A decision on whether to seek the death penalty could be weeks or months away, District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters as she entered the courthouse.
"It will be a conversation we have with the victims before we make that decision," Chambers said.
Holmes, 24, is accused of blasting his way through a packed movie theater on Friday in Aurora, Colo., during a midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises."
Twelve people died and 58 others were injured in the shooting. The rampage is among the worst mass shootings in modern-day American history.
[COMPLETE COVERAGE: Colorado theater shooting]
Holmes, clad in full body armor, surrendered to officers in a parking lot behind the cinema. He did not resist arrest, but investigators have since described the former medical student as uncooperative.
Authorities and news reports have portrayed the native Californian as smart and shy, but no motive for the shooting spree has surfaced.
Federal investigators were dispatched to assist local authorities with the investigation, but officials have indicated justice will be sought in a state courtroom.
Colorado has a death penalty, but only one inmate has been executed since 1977. Three inmates are currently on death row, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
"If James Holmes isn't executed," former Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman told Reuters, "Colorado may as well throw away its death penalty law."

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