Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes appeared dazed in his first appearance in court Monday in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes, 24, kept his face blank and frequently closed his eyes during the introductory hearing. Judge William Sylvester informed Holmes that he is being held on suspicion of first degree murder. Due to the severity of his suspected crime, Holmes will not be granted bail. He was also banned from making contact with any of the shooting victims or their families.
Formal charges will be filed on Monday, July 30. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters outside the courthouse the death penalty “certainly will be considered in this case.” Prosecutors will meet with victims before making a decision on seeking the death penalty.
Holmes is accused of opening fire in a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises at Century Aurora 16 Theater last Friday. According to reports, Holmes entered the theater through an emergency exit around 12:30 a.m. He threw a smoke bomb before opening fire on the audience. Chaos ensued as terrified moviegoers began fleeing the auditorium. Ten people died at the scene and two others died at a local hospital. At least 59 people were wounded. Several of the victims were children, the youngest reportedly 3-months-old.
Holmes surrendered to police in the theater’s rear parking lot. Police said he was dressed in tactical gear and used an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a .40-caliber handgun in the attack. A second .40-caliber handgun was also recovered at the scene.
Meanwhile, authorities have finally entered Holmes’ apartment after disarming sophisticated “booby traps” made up of trip wires, explosives, acid, bullets and gasoline.
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