Will Aurora shootings suspect James Holmes face the death penalty if he is convicted?
That question probably won’t be answered for weeks if not months, considering the numerous legal proceedings that will run into November and possibly beyond.
The prosecutor will decide, and there are a number of factors in play where she is concerned.
The Denver Post said the preliminary hearing, the next “major” hearing, isn’t scheduled until Nov. 13 when the judge will hear testimony to determine whether the case can proceed to trial.
Prosecutor Carol Chambers, known for not kowtowing to media, will actually see her term as head prosecutor of the 18th judicial district come to a close at the end of 2012 because of term limits.
CNN said, “Chambers is the only state district attorney in Colorado to seek the death penalty in the past five years. Two of the three men on Colorado's death row were prosecuted by Chambers.”
Odd details about Holmes continued to come forth in media from staid publications like The Denver Post to saucy tabloids like The National Enquirer. A portrait has emerged of Holmes as an eccentric nerdy type who was perceived as being bright enough to enroll in a challenging academic postgraduate program. Whether that is an accurate portrait can’t be determined at present.
Some media have claimed the suspect said he took Vicodin on the day of the shootings. Vicodin contains both hydrocodone and acetaminophen and is usually prescribed for pain. There’s been a lot of conjecture about Holmes’ facial expressions during the first legal proceeding on July 23.
Some of Holmes’ expressions are similar to those experienced in Vicodin withdrawal when a person has taken the drug regularly, among them, restlessness and watering eyes. Withdrawal can also cause a runny nose, nausea, sweating and muscle aches.
A full list of all the charges Holmes faces—142 counts including 24 first degree counts of murder—is posted online.
A wire service and other media claimed Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist who had been disciplined in 2004.
A wire service also said the district judge placed all motions by both defense and prosecution under seal, effectively barring the public from seeing the information. The same judge ordered the university Holmes attended not to release any of his records.
The Aurora Police Dept. created Web pages with information for victims and the public. The pages include information about sending donations to help the victims and their families.
(Filed by Kay B. Day/July 31, 2012)
Read past TUSR articles related to the Aurora shootings.