As the Batman shooter James Holmes made his first public appearance in a Colorado courtroom since the weekend shooting, looking strangely dazed and unresponsive, more details have begun to emerge about his upper-middle-class upbringing in San Diego.
Holmes was in court for what is called in the Colorado system an “advisement.” He will be formally arraigned next week. His demeanor alternated from dazed and nearly comatose to wearing a bizarre bug-eyed stare.
Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said “we would have no information” about whether Holmes was on drugs or some kind of medication.
Held in solitary confinement, Holmes was brought to court by means of an underground tunnel and he appeared unshaven. His reddish-orange hair was brighter than the red prison jumpsuit. He also appeared to be wearing a bulletproof vest.
Holmes is being held in solitary confinement and was brought to the courtroom via an underground tunnel.
Prosecutors are considering the death penalty in Holmes’s case, but Chambers said she has to consult over time with the family of the victims because “if the death penalty is sought, that’s a very long process that impacts [victims' and family members'] for years,” she said.
After the arraignment next week, prosecutors have 60 days to decide if they will pursue the death penalty. Colorado hasn’t executed anybody since 1997. There are only three people on death row right now—two of them put there by Chambers in Arapahoe County. Though Chambers wouldn’t commit to a decision now, legal experts fully expect her to pursue the death penalty.
But the nation likely will have to wait at least a year for the spectacle of a capital murder trial; that’s how long county officials expect it to take for Holmes to come to trial.
According to ABC News, Holmes applied online for membership at a local shooting range, but then the owner Glenn Rotkovich of the Lead Valley Range in Byers, Colo., called him to follow up, Rotkovich said he heard a “bizarre,” Batman-inspired voicemail message. Rotkovich was so alarmed by the voicemail that he told his staff not to allow Holmes into the club if he showed up for an orientation.