By Jason Sickles
James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado theater massacre, appeared in a Colorado courtroom on Monday, three days after one of the deadliest shooting sprees in modern American history.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge William B. Sylvester advised Holmes of his Miranda rights, and said that there was probable cause to continue to hold him without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Holmes, who was transported from a holding cell to the courtroom via an underground tunnel, appeared dazed. His brow furrowed. His head bobbed. His eyes opened and closed often. His hair was dyed a cartoonish orange-red. His hands and feet were shackled. He did not speak.
Seated in a jury box next to Tamara Brady, a public defender, Holmes never looked in the direction of a gallery that included victims and their advocates. Two sheriff’s deputies stood watch nearby.
His demeanor, however, angered the relatives of some of the victims of the shooting. Some stared at him during the entire hearing, including Tom Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed in the attack. Teves watched Holmes intently, sizing him up.
“I saw the coward in court today and Alex could have wiped the floor with him without breaking a sweat,” said Teves, whose son, a physical therapist, dove to protect his girlfriend. “You shot a 6-year-old. Come on give me a break. You’re dressed in full combat gear, immediately surrender. Come on. Pick on some guys who know how to use guns,” Teves told the AP.
The preliminary hearing lasted about 11 minutes. Holmes’ next court appearance is July 30, when he is expected to be charged.
A decision on whether to seek the death penalty could be weeks or months away, District Attorney Carol Chambers told reporters as she entered the courthouse.
“It will be a conversation we have with the victims before we make that decision,” Chambers said.