The suspect in the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado appeared in court Monday, with orange hair and a blanked stare. (Photo : Reuters)
The suspect in Friday's Colorado theater shooting appeared in court Monday, donning orange hair, and in the presence of victims' family members.
The gunman, James Holmes, was arrested Friday after fatally shooting 12 people, and injuring 58, the worst gun-related tragedy in US history.
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Among the dead is a six-year-old girl, a war veteran, and a female who previously escaped a mall shooting in Toronto.
What lies for Holmes ahead will not be easy, as the option of the death penalty is allowed in the state.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers has the decision on whether or not Holmes faces death. She previously prosecuted two men now on Colorado's death row.
During the initial hearing, Chambers said, "There is no such thing as a slam dunk case," and that the prosecutors would be working hard to prove Holmes' is guilty.
Chambers added the charge to consider Holmes' as a domestic terrorist would not be something state prosecutors to consider.
Holmes is likely to face first-degree murder, an offense that does carry the possibility of the death penalty if convicted. First-degree murder is classified as a murder that is both willful and premeditated, a deliberate intent to cause death to a person other than himself. There are several classes in Colorado felony, and indications show Holmes will face Class 1 felony, which offers the minimum sentence of life in prison and the maximum sentence being the death sentence.
He could face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Holmes appeared in a maroon jumpsuit with orange hair as Judge William B. Sylvester read his rights. Formal filing of charges will take place next Monday, July 30 at 9:30 a.m. Colorado time.
According to CBS News, authorities have said Holmes is refusing to cooperate and it could take months to understand what prompted Holmes' to conduct last Friday's shooting.
The Chicago Tribune reported Holmes was armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P .223 semi-automatic rifle, similar to an AR-15 assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber handgun. Police found an additional Glock .40-caliber handgun in his car. All the weapons had been bought legally.
Holmes is currently in solitary confinement to protect him from other prisoners. He had recently dropped out of the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical School's doctoral degree program, studying neuroscience. The reason he dropped out of the university has not been disclosed.