Colorado movie theater shooting suspect charged with 142 counts, first-degree murder

Centennial, Colo.

Colorado movie shooting suspect James Holmes was charged Monday with 24 counts of first-degree murder -- two counts for each of the 12 people killed in the shooting.

Twelve of the murder counts cite "deliberation," and 12 cite "extreme indifference" to the value of human life.

The 24-year-old former doctoral student also was charged with 116 counts of attempted murder -- two for each of the 58 moviegoers wounded in the attack. Finally, he was charged with one count of felony possession of explosive devices and one count related to the use of an assault weapon, a shotgun and a handgun during the incident.

The 142 counts are all in connection with the July 20 massacre in the Century Aurora 16 multiplex.

Shackled around his wrists and ankles, Holmes was escorted into Arapahoe County Courthouse by two sheriffs deputies. Five other sheriffs deputies were standing in the courtroom.

During the hearing, Holmes appeared calm and frail. He sat at the right edge of the defense table, his dyed-orange hair matted on top, its roots dark.

For a while, he stared blankly at the judge's bench but appeared to be aware of what was going on. When the judge asked him whether he understood why his attorneys were asking for more time before a hearing, he said softly, "Yes."

About half of the approximately 120 seats in the courtroom were filled with victims or their family members; more watched on video in an overflow room.

One young man in the front row of the courtroom leaned forward and stared at Holmes without averting his gaze throughout the 45-minute proceeding.

One observer, her left arm and leg in bandages, sat slumped in her seat. Around her wrist was a hospital wristband.

"It was very important to come today to see him as who he was," MaryEllen Hansen told reporters outside the courthouse. She said her niece, Ashley Moser, miscarried and was left paralyzed in her legs by the shooting; Moser's 6-year-old daughter, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was killed.

"I got a sense that he was very aware of what was going on," Hansen said. "He had an expression and kind of a persona of evilness to him. But he looked very sane to me, he really did."

Asked if she favors the death penalty, the retired school principal said, "I'm a Christian and I do believe that he should probably be locked away and live with what he did every day of his life."

In his initial court appearance last Monday, Holmes appeared dazed and did not speak.

Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers said last Monday that deciding whether to pursue the death penalty would take time, since it would involve input from victims and their relatives.

Authorities have remained silent about a possible motive in the case.

A court document filed Friday revealed that Holmes was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the attack.

The disclosure was made in a filing by Holmes' public defenders requesting that authorities to hand over a package he sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton at the university's Anschutz Medical Campus, where he had been studying neuroscience before announcing earlier this month that he was withdrawing from the program.

The package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant should remain confidential, protected by the doctor-patient relationship, the request said.