Holmes Charged With 24 Counts Of Murder [VIDEO]
Colo. shooting suspect James Holmes has been formally charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempt murder in the Colorado theater shooting.
Holmes was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of an explosive device and one count of a sentence enhancer for a crime of violence.
The maximum punishment is death. The minimum is life in prison without parole.
Holmes agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within 35 days; That was the only time he spoke.
Judge William Sylvester set a date for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 12 and it is expected to take one week. The next court hearing is Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m., which will address media request to unseal the case file.
THE MURDER CHARGES EXPLAINED
Twelve people were killed and 58 people were wounded or injured.
Holmes was charged twice for each victim who was killed. According to CNN, there are three different classes of murder charges in the state of Colorado. One set of charges is because Holmes is accused of shooting after deliberation, referring to the planning of the attack. The second set of charges is because he is accused of having an attitude of universal malice, manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
Holmes was also charged with 116 counts of attempted murder, one count that is a sentence enhancer because of violence and one count for possession of explosive devices.
Holmes was charged in a Colorado courtroom in a hearing closed to cameras.
Legal analysts expect his court the case to be dominated by arguments over his sanity.
ARGUMENTS OVER A PACKAGE
Attorneys also were arguing over a defense motion to find out who leaked information to the news media about a package the 24-year-old Holmes allegedly sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Denver.
Authorities seized the package July 23, three days after the shooting, after finding it in the mailroom of the medical campus where Holmes studied. Several media outlets reported that it contained a notebook with descriptions of an attack, but Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said in court papers that the parcel hadn’t been opened by the time the “inaccurate” news reports appeared.
Security was tight for Monday’s hearing. Armed officers were stationed on the roof of both buildings at the court complex, and law enforcement vehicles blocked entrances to the buildings.