The suspected gunman in the Colorado shooting looked dazed when he appeared in court Monday for the first time since the shooting rampage that left 12 people dead during the premiere of the new Batman film last week.
His eyes drooping as he looked at the floor, the 24-year old former graduate student with orange-red hair sat in the jury box in a maroon jump suit, stunned as he listened to chief judge William Sylvester of the 18th judicial court.
James Holmes has been held in solitary confinement at an Arapahoe County detention facility since Friday. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and he could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations.
Prosecutors will have 72 hours from the hearing to formally charge the 24-year-old Aurora resident originally from California.
Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said Monday her office is considering pursuing the death penalty against Holmes. She said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.
Holmes has been assigned a public defender, and Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said the former doctoral student has "lawyered up" since his arrest early Friday, following the shooting at an Aurora theater that left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically.
"He's not talking to us," the chief said.
Police say Holmes, clad in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and handguns opened fire at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and wounding 58 others.
He was arrested shortly after the Friday shooting. He is refusing to cooperate, authorities say. They said it could take months to learn what prompted the attack on the moviegoers.
Holmes was brought over from the Arapahoe County detention facility and walked into the courtroom with attorneys and others.
He sat down in a jury box, seated next to one of his attorneys. His entrance was barely noticeable but relatives of shooting victims leaned forward in their seats to catch their first glimpse of him.
Some stared at him the entire hearing, including Tom Teves, the father of Alex Teves, who was killed in the shooting. Two women held hands tightly, one shaking her head.
With the Associated Press