Suspect in Colorado shooting spree is formally charged

By NICHOLAS RICCARDI and P. SOLOMON BANDA Modified: July 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm •  Published: July 31, 2012

— James Holmes appeared just as dazed as he did in his first court appearance last week after the deadly Colorado movie theater shootings.

In a packed Denver-area courtroom Monday, Holmes, 24, sat silently and did not react as he heard formal charges against him, including first-degree murder for each of the 12 who died and attempted murder for each of the 58 people who were injured in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

At one point, a shackled Holmes, still with his hair dyed orange-red, leaned over to speak with one of his lawyers and furrowed his brow.

When the judge asked the former neuroscience student if he agreed with his attorney's request to delay a future court hearing so his defense team could have more time to prepare, Holmes said softly: “Yeah.”

The charges

Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder, two each for the 12 victims, and 116 counts of attempted murder, two each for the 58 injured.

For the murder charges, one count included murder with deliberation, the other murder with extreme indifference. Both counts carry a maximum death penalty upon conviction; the minimum is life without parole.

In addition, Holmes was charged with one count of possession of explosives and one count of a crime of violence. Authorities said Holmes booby trapped his apartment with the intent to kill any officers responding there the night of the attack.

A conviction under the crime of violence charge means that any conviction, including life sentences, would have to be served consecutively, not concurrently, said Craig Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney in Denver.

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