Aurora shooter James Holmes charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder

Holmes in his first court appearance.
via CNN

The former graduate student accused of opening fire at a Denver-area screening of the latest “Batman” film, killing 12 people, was formally charged on Monday with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.

James Holmes, 24, was formally charged during his second court appearance since his arrest after the massacre during a packed showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” shortly after midnight on July 20.

The rampage left 12 people dead and 58 injured, including several who remain in critical condition.

Holmes, wearing jail garb and with his hair still dyed orange but with the color fading to pink in places, sat impassively at a table with two defense lawyers through the 45 minute hearing.

But he looked more alert than during his first court appearance a week ago, when he looked dazed and groggy. The courtroom was packed with members of the media and family members of victims.

Holmes spoke only once on Monday, answering “yes” when Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester asked if he understood the charges against him.

The judge set a pre-trial hearing in the case for September 27 and tentatively scheduled a preliminary hearing for Holmes during the week of November 13.

Prosecutors essentially charged Holmes with two murder counts for each victim – one standard first-degree murder charge plus one count of murder with extreme indifference.

In all, prosecutors have charged Holmes with 142 criminal counts in the shooting, the 24 murder and 116 attempted murder counts plus one count of possession of an explosive device and one count of committing a crime of violence.

The charges mean Holmes is eligible to face the death penalty, although prosecutors have not yet said whether they would seek it in the sensational case.

DEFENSE SEEKS PACKAGE

During the hearing, defense attorney Tamara Brady asked that prosecutors turn over evidence collected in the case. They are seeking a package that news reports have said was sent by Holmes to a University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Prosecutors responded that they had not yet opened that parcel, which according to Fox News contained a notebook outlining the shooting scenario, including stick-figure drawings.

Holmes, a San Diego native, was a doctoral student of neuroscience at the university’s Anschutz campus before filing paperwork to drop out in June.

Court documents filed on Friday by defense lawyers said Holmes had been under Fenton’s care.

Also on Thursday, attorneys representing news organizations asked Sylvester to unseal court records and investigative documents that he has closed to public view.

The judge set an August 9 date to consider that issue and said he would hold a hearing on August 16 to determine what evidence should be considered protected between Holmes and his psychiatrist.

Police have not offered a motive for the shooting rampage that stunned the community of Aurora and evoked memories of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School less than 20 miles away in Littleton.

Authorities have said that following his arrest, Holmes had called himself “the Joker” in reference to Batman’s comic-book nemesis.

Holmes was armed on the night of the shooting with a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 semi-automatic rifle, similar to an AR-15 assault rifle; a 12-gauge shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber handgun, according to police.

An additional Glock .40-caliber handgun was found in his car. All the weapons had been bought legally in the previous 60 days.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…