James Eagen Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder on Monday in Colorado for the murder of 12 people and injuring 58 others at the Aurora movie theater rampage. For each victim who died in the rampage, Holmes, 24, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one for allegedly intending to cause harm and another for allegedly acting with extreme indifference to human life, according to court documents.
A conviction under extreme indifference means that any life sentences would have to be served consecutively, not concurrently, said Craig Silverman, a former chief deputy district attorney in Denver.
Prosecutors also filed 116 counts of attempted murder against Holmes, who Aurora police said booby trapped his apartment with the intent to kill any officers responding there the night of the theater attack. Among the charges Monday was one count of possession of explosives and one count of a crime of violence.
With his hair still dyed bright red, Holmes appeared just as dazed as he did in his first court appearance last week, but at one point exchanged a few words with one of his attorneys in the packed courtroom. He did not enter a plea during the hearing. He ultimately could verbally enter a plea, or his attorneys could enter it for him.
At times, it appeared Holmes was trying to focus his eyes. When the judge asked if he approved of a delay in the bail hearing to November, he reacted as if his thoughts were disturbed. Holmes leaned to his lawyer, appeared to mouth “OK,” then responded “yeah” to the judge.
Unlike Holmes’ first court appearance July 23, Monday’s hearing was not televised. At the request of the defense, District Chief Judge William Sylvester barred video and still cameras from the hearing, saying expanded coverage could interfere with Holmes’ right to a fair trial.