(AURORA, Colo.) — Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder today, two counts for each of the people he is accused of killing during an alleged shooting spree at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colo., on July 20.
The 24-year-old is accused of a mass killing in which he sprayed a crowded movie theater with automatic weapons fire during the premiere of the latest Batman movie. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded in the attack.
Holmes was officially read the charges in Aurora District Court. Each killing carries two separate murder charges, one for showing premeditation and one for showing extreme indifference to life. Both of the charges carry the death penalty as a possible sentence.
Holmes was also charged with 116 counts of attempted first-degree murder, as well as one count of possessing an explosive device and one count of violent crime.
Prosecutors will have 60 days from the date of the arraignment to decide if they will seek the death sentence for Holmes.
Monday’s hearing was the second time Holmes has appeared in court. His first court appearance, on July 23, raised questions among some observers about his mental competency. The suspected shooter appeared dazed, with his head drooping at times.
The judge also heard arguments Monday about a package Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Lynne Fenton. Holmes’ attorneys filed a motion Friday demanding that the court “immediately produce all discovery pertaining to the seizure of the package.”
The Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office, representing the state, filed an objection to the motion and asked that it be denied. The DA said that the motion by Holmes’s attorneys was “based on certain factual assumptions that are not established by evidence and that the People believe are of dubious validity, if not outright incorrect.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
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