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Denver Shooting Suspect James Holmes In Court

  7/24/2012
Summary:The suspected gunman in the Colorado cinema massacre is making his first court appearance.

PhD student James Holmes, 24, has refused to co-operate with law enforcement officers ahead of the hearing, police sources say.

Holmes has been held in solitary confinement for his own safety ahead of the appearance, where the charges of suspicion of first-degree murder will be read against him. Friday's shootings left 12 dead and 58 wounded, some critically.
                  
A prosecutor said her office is considering pursuing the death penalty. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said a decision will be made in consultation with victims' families.

Holmes is represented at the Arapahoe County Justice Centre - next to the jail where he is detained - by public defenders Daniel King and Tamara Brady.

Police are hoping a computer inside Holmes' booby-trapped apartment could provide details of how the attack at a screening of the latest Batman movie was planned and carried out.

It has also emerged that Holmes applied to join a private gun club a few weeks before the shooting but was not approved.

As with Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik, it would appear that he wanted to be caught and put on trial. Holmes was wearing protective body armour and did not resist arrest.

Unlike Norway, Colorado has the death penalty and the District Attorney is likely to seek his execution if convicted.

Police in New York have said Holmes referred to himself as "The Joker" - Batman's arch nemesis in the comic books and the films - on the evening of the attack.

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in Aurora to remember the victims and survivors of the gun massacre.

Although many were grieving the loss of close friends and family members, there was a strong sense of community spirit.

Police officers were cheered, and the loudest applause of the service was when the Colorado governor John Hickenlooper referred to the gunman but told the crowd: "I refuse to say his name."

As each of the 12 victims' names was read out, those present said "we will remember" in unison.

The vigil took place less than an hour after President Barack Obama had flown in aboard Air Force One to individually meet bereaved families.

"I come to them not so much as President as I do as a father and as a husband," he said and described the shooting incident as an "evil act".


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