Wide-eyed, swaying and despondent – the gunman suspected of brutally slaying 12 people during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado has appeared in court for the first time.
James Holmes, 24, who has dyed his hair red in a reported bid to look like The Joker, sat silently and looked straight ahead in Arapahoe County Courthouse as he heard the charges against him.
Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder after he shot dead 12 cinema-goers and wounded 58 in a horrifying shooting spree just after midnight on Friday morning.
It comes as prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty for the suspected shooter, a former PhD student described as an outsider who is believed to have recently gone through a break up.
Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said that her office is considering pursuing the death penalty and that a decision would be made in consultation with victims’ families.
Legal experts told the Denver Post that Holmes’s attorneys are likely to pursue an insanity defense.
‘You just have to imagine that there is something in his psychiatric makeup that will be exploited by his defense team,’ former Adams County District Attorney Bob Grant told the paper. ‘I don’t know what else they are going to say.’