24 murder counts, 116 attempted murder counts for Colorado shooting suspect

Jul 30, 2012

Prosecutors in Colorado today charged James Holmes with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20 deaths of 12 people and wounding of 58 during a shooting rampage at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

As we reported earlier, some legal experts had been expecting he could face at least two charges for each of the victims:

KUSA-TV legal analyst Scott Robinson, the Denver station says:

"Expects 12, first-degree murder charges. He expects 12 charges of extreme indifference homicide, for shooting into a crowded theater. Robinson also said he expects at least 58 charges of attempted murder."

That is indeed what prosecutors have done. In the "complaint and information" that is now posted online, Holmes is charged with two crimes for each victim:

— For those who were killed, he's charged with intentionally causing their deaths and with "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally" in causing their deaths.

— For those who were injured, he's charged with attempted murder and with "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally" in committing that crime against them.

The Denver Post says that at this morning's hearing in Arapahoe County (Colo.), Holmes "was asked if he agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing within 35 days. He responded 'yes.' That was the only time he spoke."

The 24-year-old Holmes was also charged "with one count of possession of explosives. Authorities say he booby trapped his apartment." And, he faces one count of a "crime of violence" for allegedly using deadly weapons.

His next court hearing is set for Aug. 9.