Accused Colorado Shooter James Holmes Appears in Court
Posted: July 24, 2012
By TrinidadAndTobagoNews.com Reporters
Members of our TrinidadAndTobago.com team who were in Aurora, Colorado at the time of the Batman Premier shooting spree, gave us photo coverage and this story.
James Holmes in his first court appearance (Credit: RJ Sangosti-Pool/TrinidadAndTobagoNews.com)
James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Cinema 16 "Dark Knight Rises" movie premier in Aurora, Colorado, made his first court appearance on 23rd July, 2012, for his Advisement Hearing. Present in the courtroom were the media along with victims of the July 20th massacre and their families. As the crowd waited, Holmes was being escorted into the courtroom by law enforcement officers. The officers utilized the tunnel connecting the detention center to the courthouse in order to avoid using public spaces. At the hearing, Holmes appeared tired and pale which provided a stark contrast against his bright yet fading orange hair.
Media in the corridor of Arapahoe County District Court
Outside Courtroom 201 was a heavy media presence from all over the United States, Asia, Europe and from the Caribbean, TrinidadAndTobagoNews.com. They came to witness firsthand the start of the legal proceedings against Holmes. In the courtroom, the left side was occupied by victims, victims' families and staff, while the right side of the courtroom was reserved for media. The available media seats in the courtroom had been awarded to the larger local, regional and international press outlets with a strict 8 AM check-in. A second courtroom, 202, was to provide an audio and visual feed for an additional 35 media outlets on a first come, first serve basis.
Court Proceedings in the Arapahoe County District Court
The court proceeding was presided over by Judge William Sylvester. Holmes, the defendant was advised of his rights pursuant to the rules of the criminal procedure. In brief, at an Advisement Hearing the court advises the defendant that he has the right to remain silent, the right to counsel and the right to post bail unless the state laws deny the right to bail for the crimes alleged. The defendant is also informed of the nature of the charges contained in the arrest warrant, the right to have a preliminary hearing held, the right to have a jury trial, and that any plea entered by the defendant must be voluntary.
Karen Pearson, Chief Deputy District Attorney
Karen Pearson, Chief Deputy District Attorney is leading the prosecution's case with assistance from Jacob Edson Lead Senior District Attorney, Andrew Steers Deputy District Attorney and Rich Orman Senior Deputy District Attorney. The Public Defender representing James Holmes identified himself as Daniel King and also introduced a second Public Defender Tamara Brady who entered the courtroom with the defendant and remained by his side throughout the approximately 11 minute proceeding.
David Sanchez, whose son-in-law was critically wounded in the gunfire, spoke outside court and said he wanted the death penalty for Holmes
After advising the defendant of his rights, Judge Sylvester advised him of possible charges of first degree murder, denied him bail then proceeded with the motions filed. The judge granted a Protection Order that restrains Holmes from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness to or victim of the alleged crime. The judge also extended the usual 72 hours to formally charge the defendant to Monday, July 30, 2012 at the behest of the prosecutors. Other motions adjudicated upon included allowing the defense to examine the crime scene and the suspect's apartment as well as rules regarding pretrial publicity to both the defense and the prosecution.
Karen Pearson, Chief Deputy District Attorney faces the media
Following the Advisement Hearing was a brief press conference where leading prosecutor Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson, informed the public about what transpired in the courtroom and what is expected to follow in the days and months ahead.
Century 16 movie theatre where a gunman attacked movie goers during the premier of "The Dark Knight Rises"
Just after midnight, Friday, July 20th 2012, a mass shooting occurred at the Century 16 Movie Theater, 14300 E. Alameda Avenue, Aurora, Colorado. Initial reports indicated 14 dead and dozens wounded. This was later revised to 12 dead and 59 wounded.
Witness Jennifer Seeger who was in theater 9 where the shootings occured recounts what transpired to the media
The suspected shooter, James Holmes, was located behind the theater near a white car and surrendered to police without further incident. Holmes was dressed in black wearing a bullet proof vest, carrying a knife, rifle and handgun. It was also reported that he was wearing a gas mask during the attack. James Holmes was said to have bought a ticket to the midnight premier of the latest installment of Batman, "The Dark Knight Rises". He watched the movie for a few minutes, proceeded out the exit door, propping it open to gain re-entry. Holmes is accused of returning through the exit into theater 9 of the complex and opening fire on the patrons.
The police claimed they were advised by the suspect that his car as well as his North Aurora apartment located at 1690 Paris Street, were booby trapped with explosives. Police from several metro area forces, fire and emergency crews were on hand while bomb squads worked through the trip wires and explosives they claimed to have found at the apartment.
Arapahoe County Detention Facility
James Holmes was booked into the Arapahoe County Detention Facility in Centennial, Colorado, July 20th, 2012, at 5:35 PM MST under a charge of Murder in the 1st Degree and is being held without bond.