James Holmes, dubbed as ‘Batman killer’ after shooting people at random during a midnight screening of the latest Batman film ' The Dark Knight Rises', now faces a total of 142 charges.
He is charged with two murder counts – one count of first-degree murder and one count of murder with extreme indifference – for each of his 12 victims.
The ‘extreme indifference’ charges were based on the fact that Holmes carried out his crime with ‘an attitude of universal malice and manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life generally, knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to persons other than himself’.
At the July 30 hearing, Holmes uttered his first word in public since his shooting rampage. Judge William Sylvester asked him if he agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within 35 days. After conferring briefly with the legal team, he simply answered ‘Yes’.
Holmes, 24, was still sporting his bright red hair and appeared a bit more alert than he looked during his first court appearance. He exhibited no emotion whatsoever as he faced his 142 charges, which also include a total of 116 counts of attempted murder – two counts for each person he injured during the Aurora, Colorado shooting. The charges also include one count of possessing explosives.
His first-degree murder charges face him with a lifetime imprisonment term minimum and could possibly lead to a death sentence. He will be back in court on August 9.
Holmes did not look at the families of his victims as they shared the same gallery on Monday. Among those who came was Ian Sullivan, father of Holmes’ youngest victim, six-year-old Veronica Sullivan. Many victims and their relatives also attended the hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Centre in Centennial, Colorado wearing Batman T-shirts.
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