Colorado shooting suspect unemotional at hearing

In this July 23 file photo, James Holmes sits in court with his attorney
Monday, July 30, 2012 1:59 PM
Last updated 7:55 PM
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The man charged with killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in a Colorado movie theater was unemotional as he heard the charges against him.

At times, it appeared James 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.

Before the hearing, several people in the courtroom clasped their hands and bowed their heads as if in prayer. One unidentified man glared at Holmes throughout the hearing.

Among the victims attending the hearing was Rita Paulina, who arrived in a wheelchair. Another woman with a bandaged arm was among several wearing Batman T-shirts.

Why 24 murder charges?

Colorado prosecutors charged the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting with multiple counts for each victim to create more options during sentencing, if he's convicted.

James Holmes was charged with 24 counts of murder, two each for the 12 people killed, and 116 counts of attempted murder, two each for the 58 injured.

For the murder charges, one count included murder with deliberation, the other murder with extreme indifference. Both carry a maximum death penalty upon conviction.

A former chief deputy district attorney says a conviction under extreme indifference means that any life sentences would have to be served consecutively, not concurrently.

In addition, Holmes was charged with one count of possession of explosives and one count of a crime of violence, which is a gun charge.

- Associated Press

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