Conflict & Tragedy
Colorado movie massacre: Accused killer makes first court appearance sporting flaming red hair
Accused killer James Eagan Holmes made his first appearance in a Colorado courtroom on Monday around 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Seen on a local ABC 7 News live broadcast, the 24-year-old Holmes wore burgundy prison garb, bullet proof vest and sported flaming bright red and orange hair. He looked completely out of it, at times appearing heavily medicated, dazed and nodding off and at other moments wide-eyed and crazed.
Accompanied by his lawyer, the presiding judge William Sylvester was heard conducting the brief proceedings which was not a formal arraignment. Under Colorado law this first appearance is called 'an advisement' where the accused will reportedly be asked if he knew why he was arrested, jailed and brought before a judge, while being informed of his rights.
The accused did not speak or appeared as if he was aware of where he was, looking down many times like he was not even listening to the proceedings. Five relatives on behalf of three of the victims were present in the courtroom accompanied by victims advocates, reportedly gazing at Homes intently as he was brought into the room. On the question of whether Holmes had been medicated, District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters, "We would have no information on that."
The nature of the crime will mean there would be no option of bail and Holmes has to remain behind bars until his trial. If found competent for trial and if subsequently convicted, he will most likely get the death penalty. D.A. Chambers said she will be discussing the charges and penalty with the victims family and that capital murder is definitely on the table.
Holmes is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Arapahoe County Detention facility and was reportedly transported to the courtroom on Monday via an underground tunnel. Whether he will stay there throughout the duration or whether there will be an insanity defense remains to be seen and his behavior in court on Monday looks like he is heading in that direction. Is he acting, putting on a show just for that benefit, or is he truly mentally disturbed?
The accused killer will reportedly return to court next Monday to be formally charged and enter his plea.
Twelve people lost their lives at his hands and 58 more were injured on Friday as he methodically threw tear gas and smoke bombs into the unsuspecting crowds, then proceeded to spray an Aurora movie theater with bullets from four guns. Two of the weapons were assault rifles and two were Glock handguns.
The bloody carnage appeared to have been planned for months. He ensured he was protected in bullet-proof body armor, gas masks and head-gear. Holmes also booby-trapped his home and this showed he had planned on erasing any traces of who he was and how he had executed his deadly deeds. More people would have died if his assault rifle hadn't reportedly jammed and if he did not tell police about the deadly arsenal rigged inside his apartment.
Was he planning his escape, covering his tracks so he could do this somewhere else again?
Neighbors had to be hastily evacuated and there were many children among the evacuees. One mother of four told CNN news that she was terrified to learn that the movie assassin had lived right next door to her family.
A video of his teenaged college presentation has since surfaced, showing an 18-year-old awkward, shy young man talking about complex human behavior as part of his neuroscience program. He was participating in a summer seminar while attending Miramar Community College in San Diego. See video by clicking link below.