Photograph by Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images.
UPDATE: James Holmes on Monday was charged with 142 criminal counts in connection with the midnight shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 and injured dozens earlier this month.
The 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student faces a total of 24 murder charges: half of which were of the first-degree variety and the other 12 being "murder with extreme indifference," according to Reuters. The minimum sentence for those charges are life without parole; the maximum is the death penalty, according to the Denver Post.
Holmes' other charges include 116 counts of attempted murder, and one count of possession of an explosive device. The remaining charge was one count of a sentence enhancer for a crime of violence.
The presiding judge barred cameras from the courtroom during the hearing, Holmes' second since being arrested outside the Aurora movie theater in the early morning hours of July 20. "Holmes appeared just as dazed as he did in his first court appearance last week, but at one point exchanged a few words with one of his attorneys in the packed courtroom," the Associated Press reports.
The New York Times with more on Holmes' courtroom demeanor:
He stared at the ceiling lights and at the floor and showed no reaction as the charges were being read, even when the judge told him that he could face the death penalty. His hair, dyed orange, was slicked down to his head. He did not enter a plea.
The Denver Post reports that the question of whether a notebook that Holmes apparently sent to his psychiatrist is admissible in court will be decided at a later date.
Authorities found a package containing that notebook at the psychiatrist's office at the medical campus where Holmes had been studying, but the defense argues that material is privileged because it represents professional communication between Holmes and his doctor.
Holmes' next court date is Aug. 9, according to the Post.
Monday, July 30: James Holmes on Monday will make his second court appearance, where is expected to face formal charges in the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens more wounded.
The Associated Press reports that the hearing, which is expected to start at around 11:30 a.m. ET, will also deal with a request from Holmes' legal team asking prosecutors to turn over a notebook the suspected gunman reportedly sent to his psychiatrist. The defense says that the notebook is privileged doctor-patient communication and can't be used in court. The exact details of what is in the notebook remain a mystery, although sources have told multiple media outlets that it contains details of Holmes' mass-shooting plans.
Sunday, July 29: The psychiatrist who was allegedly treating James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado movie theater massacre, had been reprimanded by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners in 2005, reports 7News, ABC’s Denver affiliate. Dr. Lynne Fenton received a reprimand for prescribing medication to herself, her husband, and an employee. The medication apparently prescribed in the late 1990s included Vicodin, Xanax, and Ambien. She had to complete 50 hours of medical training as a result.
In other sad news to come out of the shooting that claimed the lives of 12 people, the wounded mother of the youngest person killed in the attack suffered a miscarriage. Ashley Moser, the mother of 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan who died in the shooting, is still under medical treatment and suffered a miscarriage due to “the extreme trauma she sustained,” her family said in a statement, reports the Denver Post.
Photo composite by RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images.
The miscarriage won’t alter the charges that Holmes is likely to face since a homicide charge in Colorado only applies to those “who had been born and alive,” a defense attorney tells the Associated Press.
Friday, July 27, 4:20 p.m.: James Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist prior to last week's mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, the suspected gunman's lawyers said in court documents filed Friday.
CNN explains that that disclosure came in a formal request for authorities to hand over a package that Holmes had sent to Anschutz Medical Campus psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton before the shooting. Holmes' public defenders argue that because of his professional relationship with Fenton, the package—which unconfirmed reports suggest contained details and sketches of his deadly plan—is protected communication and can't be used by the prosecution.
District Court Judge William Blair Sylvester set a hearing on the request for Monday, the same day that Holmes is scheduled to be formally charged in the shooting.
Friday, July 27, 10:03 a.m.: A judge has barred the university at which James Holmes was studying neuroscience in the months before last week's movie theater shooting from releasing any records pertaining to his time there.
Media organizations had filed public records requests for access to the University of Colorado at Denver materials, which presumably would provide more fuel for speculation on what Holmes' motive may have been. District Judge William Blair Sylvester, however, blocked their release because making the information public would “impede an ongoing investigation," according to an order released Thursday.
The Associated Press explains that Holmes entered the graduate program at the school's Anschutz Medical Campus in June 2011, but dropped out a year later instead of taking a year-end oral exam.
Holmes will likely be formally charged during his next court appearance on Monday. In the meantime, as Slate V explains, President Obama and GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney have moved on from their post-shooting apparent truce, entering into a post-shooting gun control debate.
Thursday, July 26: While university and law enforcement officials remain mum on the contents of a notebook allegedly sent by James Holmes to a university psychiatrist, some uninsured victims of the mass shooting that left 12 dead and over 50 injured are looking for (and getting) help with their medical bills.
The Associated Press reports that three of the five hospitals treating victims from the mass shooting will waive or limit medical costs. Children's Hospital Colorado will use donations and a charity fund to cover the expenses of uninsured victims, and waive co-pays for the insured. Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center have also said they'll limit or eliminate costs to victims. Overall, about $2 million has been donated to the recovery efforts of victims, with a big chunk of that coming from Warner Bros.
While it's not known exactly how many victims don't have health insurance, the AP notes, it's believed to be a significant number of those receiving care. Overall, one third of Colorado residents are uninsured, and that number is larger for those 18-34, the age group for many of the injured.
Some other Aurora, Colo. developments:
—Mitt Romney said on Wednesday that "many" of the weapons Holmes used in the shooting were illegal, a statement that seems to defy what law enforcement officials have found. Holmes legally purchased and passed background checks for the weapons used in the deadly shootings, Politico explains. Romney made the comment to NBC News in defense of current gun control law.
—Meanwhile, those living near James Holmes' formerly booby-trapped apartment have been able to return home as of Wednesday evening, NBC affiliate 9news reports. His apartment building was evacuated hours after the mass shooting, and authorities took days to dismantle the potentially explosive rig in Holmes' apartment.
Wednesday, July 25, 1:29 p.m. : Fox News with the latest headline-grabbing (unconfirmed) report from Colorado: James Holmes sent a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people" to a University of Colorado psychiatrist before last week's mass shooting that killed 12 and injured dozens others, according to an unnamed "law enforcement source."
"Inside the package was a notebook full of details about how he was going to kill people," the source told FoxNews.com. "There were drawings of what he was going to do in it—drawings and illustrations of the massacre."
The FBI declined to comment to the network, citing a gag order on the case. But Fox cites two separate police sources in its report. The details surrounding the discovery of the package in question are a little murky, however. According to the report, the psychiatrist (who is also a professor at the school) first alerted police about a different package that he thought was from Holmes. Only after it turned out to be from someone else, did police discover a second package with Holmes listed as the sender.
According to one of the unnamed law enforcement officials, authorities then got a search warrant for the package, which had reportedly been in the office since at least July 12. "Among the images shown in the spiral-bound notebook’s pages were gun-wielding stick figures blowing away other stick figures," Fox reports.
More on the psychiatrist who the package was reportedly sent to:
Both sources said the intended recipient of Holmes’ notebook was a professor who also treated patients at the psychiatry outpatient facility, located in Building 500, where the first suspicious package was delivered. It could not be verified that the psychiatrist had had previous contact with Holmes, who was a dropout from the school’s neuroscience doctoral program and had studied various mental health issues and ailments as part of his curriculum.
Wednesday, July 25: James Holmes added a high-powered rifle to his already existing cache of weapons hours after he failed a preliminary exam at the University of Colorado last month, ABC News reported Wednesday.
The failed oral exam, according to a Denver ABC affiliate, would not have led to Holmes removal from the neuroscience program in which he'd been enrolled. But Holmes, who was already acquiring weapons before the exam, withdrew from his graduate program days later.
It's the latest set of details in a developing timeline of Holmes' life in the lead-up to the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater that left 12 dead and more than 50 injured. While Holmes' motive remains a mystery, there has been increasing speculation that his apparent academic troubles may have played at least some role.
As Holmes awaits formal charges, The Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale made a surprise visit to Colorado to meet with survivors and visit a memorial for victims. According to CNN, Bale posed for photos with at least one survivor recovering in a hospital, and participated in an impromptu prayer circle at a memorial.
Tuesday, July 24: James Holmes' booby-trapped apartment had more than 30 homemade grenades and 10 gallons of gas inside, a law enforcement official who viewed video from inside the apartment told CNN late Monday night.
The grenades were wired to a control box in the kitchen, which police managed to disable with the help of a remote-controlled robot. It appears clear that the setup was left to add to the death toll from the movie theater where Holmes allegedly killed 12 and injured nearly 60 others early Friday morning.
"Imagine that fireball ... you would have an explosion that would knock down the wall of (nearby) apartments," the official told CNN. "That flame would have consumed the entire third floor (of the apartment complex). ... By the time a fire truck would have arrived, they would have arrived to a building that would have been completely consumed in flames."
Meanwhile, the New York Times took a long look at the availability, popularity, and deadliness of the firearms Holmes used inside the Aurora theater. Holmes legally purchased and used a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, a semiautomatic variation of the military’s M-16 rifle (which jammed in the theater), and one or more .40-caliber semiautomatic pistols, in that order. He also purchased over 6,000 rounds of ammo online.
In Colorado, the Denver Post reports, background checks for those wanting to buy guns rose 41 percent in the days following the shooting. One store owner told the paper that Monday was "probably the busiest Monday all year."
Holmes still isn't cooperating with police, and no motive has been released for the mass shooting. Holmes will likely be formally charged next Monday.
Monday, July 23: A seemingly disoriented—and orange-haired—James Holmes on Monday made his first court appearance since his arrest early Friday morning after the shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured nearly 60 others.
The 24-year-old was held without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder and will likely be charged with a number of other crimes when he is formally arraigned next Monday, the Associated Press reports. Holmes faces the possibility of the death penalty for allegedly carrying out what is believed to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in terms of total injuries suffered.
While it had been previously reported that Holmes had dyed his hair orange at some point prior to the shooting spree, Monday's hearing provided the public with its first look at Holmes' unusual hairstyle. As viewed from the single video feed allowed from the courtroom, Holmes appeared disoriented or shocked as he sat in court (as seen in the photos below), leading some to speculate that he may have been medicated.
Later Monday, the local police department released Holmes' mug shot.
Monday's advisement hearing in front of an Arapahoe County judge set the deadline for prosecutors to file formal charges against the 24-year-old former grad student. According to Colorado state law, prosecutors have 72 hours from an advisement hearing to do so, at which point Holmes will be formally notified of those charges at an arraignment hearing, ABC affiliate Denver 7 News explains.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters after Monday's brief hearing that a decision on the death penalty would be made only after prosecutors consulted with the families of the victims, and likely remains months away. Once Holmes is arraigned, prosecutors will technically have 60 days under state law to inform him whether they will seek capital punishment, although they could request an extension of that deadline.
Police say Holmes entered a midnight screening of the new Batman film in Aurora early Friday morning, threw tear gas at the crowd, and then opened fire. He was taken into custody without a fight.