CENTENNIAL, Colo. — His hair dyed orange-red and a dazed look on his face, the man accused of going on a deadly shooting rampage at the opening of the new Batman movie appeared Monday in court for the first time.
An unshaven, handcuffed James Holmes sat in maroon jailhouse jumpsuit as the judge advised him of the case. Holmes sat motionless, his eyes appearing tired and drooping.
Holmes, 24, has been held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility since Friday. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and he could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Authorities have disclosed that he is refusing to cooperate and that it could take months to learn what prompted the horrific attack on midnight moviegoers at a Batman film premiere.
Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.
Holmes has been assigned a public defender, and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the former doctoral student has "lawyered up" since his arrest early Friday, following the shooting at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically.
"He's not talking to us," the chief said.
Holmes has been held without bond at the lockup in Centennial, Colo., south of Denver and about 13 miles from the Aurora theater.
His hearing is at the same complex, and security there was tight early Monday. Uniformed sheriff's deputies were stationed outside, and deputies were positioned on the roofs of both court buildings at the Arapahoe County Justice Center.
Police have said Holmes began buying guns at Denver-area stores nea... and that he received at least 50 packages in four months at his home and at school.
Holmes' apartment was filled with trip wires, explosive devices and unknown liquids, requiring police, FBI officials and bomb squad technicians to evacuate surrounding buildings while spending most of Saturday disabling the booby traps.
Investigators found a Batman mask inside Holmes' apartment after they finished clearing the home, a law enforcement official close to the investigation said Sunday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.
Just watched him in his first court appearance, he was drugged out beyond belief.
Wide-eyed, swaying and despondent - the gunman suspected of brutally slaying 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado has appeared in court for the first time.
James Holmes, 24, who has dyed his hair red in a reported bid to look like The Joker, sat silently and looked straight ahead in Arapahoe County Courthouse as the judge advised him of the case.
Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder after he shot dead 12 cinema-goers and wounded 58 in a horrifying shooting spree just after midnight on Friday morning.
The judge ordered the suspected gunman to have no contact with any surviving victims or their relatives. The formal charges will be filed against him next Monday morning.
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In court: James Holmes, who is suspected of killing 12 and wounding 58 in a shooting spree in a cinema, looked disheveled and despondent during his first court appearance on Monday morning
It comes as prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty for the suspected shooter, a former PhD student described as an outsider who is believed to have recently gone through a break up.
Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said that her office is considering pursuing the death penalty and that a decision would be made in consultation with victims' families.
Speaking after the court appearance, Chambers said the decision will need to be made within 60 days of Holmes's arraignment.
Chambers added that first-degree murder charges can be filed if a suspect is believed to have 'extreme indifference' to a crime or 'after deliberation'.
Legal experts told the Denver Post that Holmes's attorneys are likely to pursue an insanity defense.
Despondent: Holmes, who dyed his hair to appear like Batman's nemesis The Joker, looks down in court
Unaware: Holmes, sitting next to his public defender, slowly opened and closed his eyes
'You just have to imagine that there is something in his psychiatric makeup that will be exploited by his defense team,' former Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant told the paper. 'I don't know what the hell else they are going to say.'
Experts added Holmes is likely to undergo a competency test to see if he is psychologically fit to assist in his defense.
'If in fact he is sane, it's a hopeless case for the defense,' legal analyst, Scott Robinson, said. 'They caught him literally gunpowder-handed with his weapons, with his tactical gear.'
David Lane, a lawyer who has represented 25 people charged with death-penalty offenses, added: 'There are some crimes, the nature of which just scream out 'crazy.' This is one of those cases.'
He has been held at the Arapahoe Detention Center since his arrest in the cinema parking lot just moments after the shooting spree on Friday morning.
Mourning: The father of six-year old Veronica Moser, the youngest victim, arrives at court for the hearing
Sentence: Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers talks to the media before going to court. She said the prosecutor's office would talk with relatives on whether to pursuit the death penalty for Holmes
Jailors at the facility told the New York Daily News the suspect has not shown any remorse for the killings. He has been acting bizarrely ever since arriving and 'thinks he's acting in a movie', they said.
'He was spitting at the door and spitting at the guards,' a released inmate added outside the jail. 'He’s spitting at everything. Dude was acting crazy.'
It comes as new details shed light on a possible motive for the massacre.
It is believed Holmes was due to be kicked out of his flat and may have recently broken up with a girlfriend, while one friend said his addiction to video games meant he had lost touch with reality.
But it could take months to figure out the cause behind the killings; as he waited for his first court appearance, authorities disclosed Holmes is refusing to cooperate.
Waiting for justice: Surviving victims of the shooting and their relatives and friends arrive at the courthouse
Scrum: Members of the media crowd around the courthouse ahead of Holmes's appearance
Before being moved to the courtroom for the hearing, he was held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility.
He was assigned a public defender and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said that the suspect has 'lawyered up' since his arrest in the early hours of Friday in the cinema parking lot.
'He's not talking to us,' Oates added.
In regards to a possible motice, Aurora police chief Daniel Oates had hinted that Holmes had recently gone through a break up and that authorities were investigating the claim.
'I’ve heard one morsel of information about a relationship that may or may not be true,' he told CBS' Face the Nation.
'That’s why we have all our investigators working on this. That’s why we brought in the FBI behavioral analysts. They’re going to figure all that stuff out.'
It is also believed that Holmes was due to be evicted from his flat. The 24-year-old, who is now in police custody, pulled out of the university weeks before the deadly attack.
'Killer': James Holmes, 24, dropped out from his PhD studies last month. His image on social networking sites show him with dyed red hair and a model's image photoshopped alongside his
Trail of blood: Police investigate Holmes's car outside the movie theatre on Friday morning
Neighbours told TMZ anyone living in the block had to be enrolled at the university otherwise you had 30 days to evacuate.
It is not known exactly when Holmes stopped going to classes but it is thought he was nearing the end of the 30-day grace period.
A former classmate from the University of Colorado suggested another cause for the killings, saying Holmes had lost touch with reality after becoming 'obsessed' with video games.
The classmate told the Daily Mail: 'James was obsessed with computer games and was always playing role-playing games.
'I can’t remember which one but it was something like World of Warcraft, one of those where you compete against people on the internet.
'He did not have much of a life apart from that and doing his work. James seemed like he wanted to be in the game and be one of the characters.
Innocent: Among the victims were six-year-old Veronica Moser, left, and aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, who had escaped another shooting in Toronto last month. Three servicemen also died
'It seemed that being online was more important to him than real life. He must have lost his sense of reality, how else can you shoot dozens of people you don’t know?'
Other acquaintances, who had worked with Holmes at a children's summer camp in 2008, noted he was an outsider who was 'shy and reserved'.
'The entire staff was really close, considering we lived together - except for James,' the counselor told NBC News.
'He really kept to himself and hardly ever went on any trips with the rest of the staff. He was very shy and reserved. It is sickening knowing that he killed kids the same age that he once cared for.'
Holmes worked at the California camp during the summer of 2008, and supervised around 10 underprivileged children between the ages of seven and 14, a spokesperson said.
Anguish: Mourners pray in front of a makeshift memorial after a prayer vigil at the Aurora Municipal Center
Remembered: Well wishers offer prayers for the 12 victims and 58 wounded in the horrific attack
Remembered: People visit a memorial for the victims across the street from the movie theater
Support: People gather in prayer during a memorial outside the Aurora Municipal Center on Sunday
Amid the continuing investigation into Holmes and his character, memorial services were held in Aurora on Sunday, with the community holding a prayer vigil.
President Barack Obama also arrived to visit victims' families at the University of Colorado Hospital and said he told the families that 'all of America and much of the world is thinking about them'.
Several thousand gathered for healing at the vigil Sunday night, while well-wishers left notes, soft toys, pictures and flowers at crosses for each of the victims opposite the cinema in Aurora.
Why do I get the feeling this guy won't make it through this the whole way??? found hanging in his cell???....killed by another inmate??....a guard???....slipped on the shower soap???
what large pupils you have…