Monday, July 30, 2012

Reason #246: Charges

James Holmes went before a judge again today, his hair dye faded further still, and was formally charged with twenty-four counts of first-degree murder--two for each fatality--and a whopping 116 counts of attempted murder; one, presumably, for every other person in the theater.

He's facing two counts per murder because on top of one standard first-degree charge each, prosecutors are adding another charge for first-degree "with extreme indifference". That's another way of calling it a "depraved heart" murder, which is a classification usually given to innocent bystanders, and typically accompanies a second-degree charge, so it's significant that both sets of charges are being treated as first-degree.

Naturally, there remains the possibility that prosecutors will seek the death penalty, but no word on the matter came out of today's proceedings. Meanwhile, Holmes' public defender has until November to cobble together an insanity plea--which isn't guaranteed, but it's the only possible way Holmes could get out of this without several life sentences at least.

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