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Colorado suspect charged with 24 counts of murder

By Nicholas Riccardi & P. Solomon Banda

Associated Press

POSTED:


CENTENNIAL, Colo. >> James Holmes appeared just as dazed as he did in his first court appearance last week after the deadly Colorado movie theater shootings.

In a packed Denver-area courtroom today, Holmes, 24, sat silently and did not react as he heard formal charges against him, including first-degree murder for each of the 12 who died and attempted murder for each of the 58 people who were injured in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

At one point, a shackled Holmes, still with his hair dyed orange-red, leaned over to speak with one of his lawyers and furrowed his brow.

When the judge asked the former neuroscience student if he agreed with his attorney's request to delay a future court hearing so his defense team could have more time to prepare, Holmes said softly: "Yea."

Some of the people in the court wore Batman T-shirts. Several people clasped their hands and bowed their heads as if in prayer before the hearing. At least one victim attended, and she was in a wheelchair and had bandages on her leg and arm. One unidentified man glared at Holmes throughout the hearing.

Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder, two each for the 12 victims, and 116 counts of attempted murder, two each for the 58 injured.

For the murder charges, one count included murder with deliberation, the other murder with extreme indifference. Both counts carry a maximum death penalty upon conviction; the minimum is life without parole.

A conviction under extreme indifference means that any life sentences would have to be served consecutively, not concurrently, said Craig Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney in Denver.

In addition, Holmes was charged with one count of possession of explosives and one count of a crime of violence.

Legal analysts expect the case to be dominated by arguments over the defendant's sanity.

Attorneys also argued over a defense motion to find out who leaked information to the news media about a package the 24-year-old Holmes allegedly sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Denver.

Authorities seized the package July 23, three days after the shooting, after finding it in the mailroom of the medical campus where Holmes studied.

Several media outlets reported that it contained a notebook with descriptions of an attack, but Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said in court papers that the parcel hadn't been opened by the time the "inaccurate" news reports appeared.

Prosecutor Tamara Brady said  today she will subpoena psychiatrist Lynne Fenton to testify in the dispute over whether a notebook is privileged because of a possible doctor-patient relationship. A hearing on the matter was set for Aug. 16.

District Chief Judge William Sylvester set an Aug. 9 hearing on a motion filed by news organizations seeking to have the case docket unsealed.

A hearing to update the status of the case was set for Sept. 27. A hearing to review evidence matters and to determine whether Holmes should continue to be held without bail was set for the week of Nov. 9.

Unlike Holmes' first court appearance July 23, today's hearing was not televised. At the request of the defense, Sylvester barred video and still cameras from the hearing, saying expanded coverage could interfere with Holmes' right to a fair trial.

Security was tight for today's hearing. Armed officers were stationed on the roof of both buildings at the court complex, and law enforcement vehicles blocked entrances to the buildings.






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Changalang wrote:
Put him in general population and let nature take its course.
on July 30,2012 | 07:26AM
onemorebeer wrote:
Totally agree with Changalang.....it'll save colorado taxpayers alot of money since he wont be sitting on death row for so long...
on July 30,2012 | 08:17AM
PUNCHBOWLER wrote:
Not sure what that will do. Apparently, you can be a Herpes-transmitting-to-8-year-olds, convicted child molester, locked up for 5 years and come out completely unscathed.
on July 30,2012 | 09:39AM
bobbob wrote:
herpes is nothing. hows about the hep c hospital worker that probably transmitted it to 5000-6000 people because he was shooting himself up with their drugs for so long.
on July 30,2012 | 10:15AM
Changalang wrote:
Serial killers make enemies at an exponential level because of all the friends and families....." Jeffrey L. Dahmer, whose gruesome exploits of murder, necrophilia and dismemberment shocked the world in 1991, was attacked and killed today in a Wisconsin prison, where he was serving 15 consecutive life terms. Mr. Dahmer was 34, older than any of his victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 33. He died of massive head injuries, suffered sometime between 7:50 and 8:10 A.M., when he was found in a pool of blood in a toilet area next to the prison's gym, said Michael Sullivan, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. He was pronounced dead shortly after 9 A.M. A bloodied broomstick was found nearby, and a fellow inmate who is serving life sentence for murder, Christopher J. Scaver, 25, of Milwaukee, is the prime suspect, the authorities said. " (29NOV1994;NYT)
on July 30,2012 | 01:31PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
In this case, nothing short of the death penalty will do.
on July 30,2012 | 05:16PM
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