Colorado shooting suspect hit with 142 charges

Prosecutors in Colorado have charged James Holmes with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder following one of the worst mass killings in US history.

The 24-year-old neuroscience student allegedly burst into a midnight viewing of the latest Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises," then opened fire into the packed auditorium with a high-powered assault rifle.

Ten of the 58 who were wounded in the July 20 attack remain hospitalized and four are in a critical condition, leaving open the possibility that the huge charge sheet could yet grow longer.

Among those clinging to life is Ashley Moser, 25, whose six-year-old daughter Veronica was killed in the massacre. Moser was paralyzed after she was shot in the neck and stomach and has since lost her unborn child.

Judy Woodard, a Moser family friend said she was grateful to be able to see the accused face justice.

"So many times when something like this happens, the person ends up killing themselves, like Columbine," she said.

Don Lader, 27, escaped the massacre unharmed but knew one of the victims, Navy cryptologist John Larimer, who died after using his body to shield his girlfriend.

"We get to be on the other side now, on the attack," said Lader, who wore a Batman t-shirt to court in defiance branding Holmes "a coward."

The family of Gordon Cowden, the oldest victim at 51, issued a statement in which they expressed confidence that justice would prevail.

"We feel confident that our judicial system, as will God and the public, (will) see to it that this evil man receives the punishment he deserves and our hope and prayers are that one day, he will face God with remorse and tremendous sorrow for his actions," they said.

Authorities say Holmes claimed he was "The Joker," Batman's sworn enemy in the comic book series that inspired director Christopher Nolan's film trilogy.

He stunned observers at his bizarre first court appearance last week, when he alternated between staring out wild-eyed and slumping drowsily under a mop of brightly-dyed orange and red hair.

Holmes appeared more focused Monday, but he spoke little, saying "yes" just once after Judge William Sylvester asked if he was willing to waive his right to a preliminary hearing.

His hair, though still reddish-orange, was combed forward and less wild than a week ago. His expression shifted from wide-eyed and expectant to calmly staring ahead.

Prosecutors have said it will be several weeks before a decision is made on whether or not to seek the death penalty for Holmes. Only one person has been executed in Colorado since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.

But the 40-page charge sheet underlined their efforts to ensure he is severely punished.

Holmes faces two counts of first degree murder for each of the 12 people killed -- one each for their deliberate killing and one more for killing through "depraved indifference" to the lives of his victims.

He also faces 116 attempted murder charges for wounding 58 more people in the theater with indiscriminate firing, one count of possession of an explosive device and one sentence enhancement count for a "crime of violence."

There has been speculation that stress over failing an important oral exam may have been the trigger that caused Holmes, a promising neuroscience student who had won a prestigious government grant, to become unhinged.

ABC News' affiliate in Denver, KMGH-TV, reported that Holmes purchased an automatic rifle on June 7, hours after failing the key oral test. Three days later, he dropped out of his university program.

Prosecutors have been battling defense lawyers over a package Holmes sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado portending the midnight massacre at a cinema in Aurora, outside Denver.

Attorneys for Holmes disclosed on Friday that he had been a patient of University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton as they sought to gain access to a package he had mailed to her prior to the massacre.

Holmes's lawyers are accusing prosecutors of leaking to the media the existence of the package -- reportedly containing macabre plans, including drawings of a stick-figure gunman mowing down victims.

Holmes is said to have stocked up on more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet and to have bought four weapons in local gun shops.

Although the shooting has triggered some soul searching in the United States there has been no concerted political will to address the toxic gun law issue, especially four months out from a presidential election.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options