The man accused of killing a dozen people in a Colorado movie theater makes his first appearance in court on Monday.
Police say James Eagan Holmes, 24, was dressed in body armor and toting three guns when he opened fire at a packed midnight screening of the new Batman movie early Friday. Fifty-eight people were injured in the shooting.
Holmes was apprehended moments after the massacre. Police say they are still searching for a motive for the crime.
Holmes will appear before Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester at 9:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. EDT/1530 GMT) for a hearing that is expected to be brief. He will be represented by a public defender.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers will decide whether to seek the death penalty for Holmes. She has prosecuted two of the three inmates on Colorado’s death row. Chambers may not announce her plan at the hearing.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama traveled to Aurora, a Denver suburb of 325,000, to offer comfort to families of the victims. He told them their loved ones would be remembered long after the justice system was done with the killer.
The dead included war veterans, an aspiring sportscaster who had barely escaped a shooting in a Toronto mall earlier this summer, and a 6-year-old girl.
The crime meets all the elements of Colorado capital case law, including premeditation, multiple victims, and the killing a child, among others, said former Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman.
“If James Holmes isn’t executed, Colorado may as well throw away its death penalty law,” he said.
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