The district attorney has 60 days after the arraignment, which has not yet been scheduled, to decide whether to pursue a sentence of capital punishment in the event of a conviction. Ms. Chambers also said she wanted to talk with victims and families before deciding on a course.
When a reporter outside the courthouse asked David Sanchez, whose son-in-law Caleb Medley was shot in the head and is in critical condition, what would be right if Mr. Holmes is convicted, he said, “I think death is.”
His daughter, Katie Medley, was not hurt and is scheduled to deliver the couple’s child this week.
The district attorney who makes the final call, however, may not be Ms. Chambers, who is slated to leave office in January.
Voters in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties will choose a new district attorney in November. The candidates are Republican George Brauchler, formerly of the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and Democrat Ethan Feldman, a former county judge and prosecutor.
Mr. Holmes is the only suspect in the shooting massacre at the Thursday midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century 16 theater in Aurora. Twelve people were killed and 58 injured when a gunman wearing a gas mask stormed the theater, set off two gas canisters and started shooting into the defenseless crowd.
He moved to Colorado last year to study neuroscience as a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver. He grew up in San Diego and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside.
Since the massacre, Mr. Holmes reportedly has called himself “the Joker,” after the villain in the Batman series of comics and films, and authorities also have told reporters they found a Batman mask in his apartment. Authorities have declined to confirm the reports officially.
Mr. Holmes also has dyed his hair, which is normally brown, to the reddish-orange color, even though the Joker has usually been portrayed as having green or black hair.
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Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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