Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes was hit with 142 criminal charges at his court appearance today, Reuters’ Matthew Keys is tweeting.20-four of those charges are murder charges and 116 charges are attempt to commit murder, Denver Post reported Kristin Painter is tweeting.
More specifically, we’re now learning those charges are 12 counts of first-degree murder and 12 counts of murder with extreme indifference, Keys tweeted.
Twelve people died when Holmes allegedly opened fire on a theatre full of mostly young people attending “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere. He’s facing twice as many charges because he’s accused of planning the attack and “showed extreme indifference over who he killed,” CNN’s Ed Lavandera tweeted.
Holmes is also facing one count of sentence-enhancement – criminal violence and one count of possession of an explosive device, 9News tweeted after the hearing.
The maximum punishment Holmes can receive is the death penalty. At minimum, he can be sentenced to life in prison with no parole, according to Painter.
Holmes did not enter a plea today, The Huffington Post reported. His attorneys asked for more time before doing so.
The only time Holmes spoke Monday morning was to say “yes,” when the judge asked if he agreed to waive his rights to a speedy preliminary hearing, according to The Huffington Post.
The complaint against Holmes was released following Holmes’ court appearance. The 40-page document lists all of the charges brought against Holmes, as well as prosecutors’ justification for the charges.
Holmes exhibited “universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” according to the complaint.
Holmes “didn’t flinch” when he heard the charges levied against him, according to Denver Post crime reporter Jessica Fender who is interviewing witnesses who were in the courtoom. Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom for today’s proceedings.
Following his first court appearance last week, commentors picked up on the fact that Holmes often looked dazed and glassy-eyed while listening to the judge. Today, he had the same dazed expression and “blinked rapidly or visibly gulped,” The Washington Post reported.
Holmes “still had a wide-eyed confused expression,” Lavandera tweeted. “But [his] mannerisms weren’t as bizarre as last time.”
Legal experts are speculating the case will come down to arguments about Holmes’ sanity, the Associated Press is reporting.
As of now, the case comes back to court August 9 when a judge will hear arguments about unsealing the case file.
Before today’s proceeding opened, Fender tweeted there were lookouts on the Arapahoe County courthouse roof.
“Sheriff grey son Robinson leading the deputies’ security effort outside the courthouse,” she tweeted.
Painter tweeted that “A woman, escorted by victims advocate, walked into courtroom crying-clutching a photo of 6-year-old Veronica & her mother.
Veronica Moser was the youngest victim to die in the shooting. She was six years old. Her mother Ashley was injured during the shooting and recently suffered a miscarriage as a result.
Following today’s proceedings, CNN talked with Maryellen Hansen, Ashley Moser’s aunt who was in the courtroom Monday morning.”He [Holmes] looked really sane to me,” Hansen told CNN. “He really did.”
Hansen also said that Ashley Moser will be paralysed but the family hope she will eventually be able to use her arms.
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