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James Holmes: Inside the courtroom with shock-haired Aurora theater shooting suspect

Update:James Holmes, the 24-year-old suspect in the Aurora theater shooting, walked slowly into a packed, wood-paneled courtroom this morning to be advised of his rights.

He wore a maroon jumpsuit, but the most shocking thing about his appearance was his hair, which was a bushy tumble of neon orange.

The dye was fading around the edges, so it looked pink. He looked somber. He didn't say anything and sat with a woman who was likely one of his public defenders in the jury box, as far from the spectators as possible.

James Holmes: Inside the courtroom with shock-haired Aurora theater shooting suspect

The courtroom fell quiet as soon as he entered. The loudest sound from those watching was the collective flapping of the fold-up theater-type seats as everyone rose when the judge entered.

The hearing was brief. The judge announced that Holmes is being held without bond for murder. Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers sat at the prosecution table with several of her staff as public defender Daniel King, who is representing Holmes along with another public defender, asked for access to the two crime scenes: the movie theater and Holmes's apartment. The prosecution did not object. Holmes will be back in court on July 30, at which time the prosecution expects to file charges with the victims' names.

Media from all around the world has come to Colorado to cover the tragedy. The big networks -- ABC, NBC, Fox -- are here, as are the New York Times and NPR. There are several Asian television stations as well, and at a press conference on Saturday, we spotted a crew from Entertainment Tonight and a reporter from the Trinidad and Tobago News.

Today, the media squeezed into two rooms: the actual courtroom, which also sat the public, and an overflow room. Westword was in the courtroom, along with a television camera that were supposed to feed video to the overflow room. But afterward, several reporters grumbled that the feed didn't work.

Photographers and cameramen lined the stuffy hallway outside the courtroom, waiting to snap a shot of the attorneys or victims. They eagerly watched the elevators and heads turned at every click of a camera.

Carol Chambers speaks to the assembled media.
Carol Chambers speaks to the assembled media.
Photo by Melanie Asmar

After the hearing, Chambers held a press conference on the lawn of the tall brick-and-glass courthouse underneath three flags flying at half mast. More than thirty cameras formed a semi circle around her as reporters in suits and skirts squatted on the grass, some holding microphones to catch her every word. She didn't reveal much, answering reporters' shouted questions calmly and judiciously.

The first question was a potentially scandalous one. Holmes looked so devoid of emotion, one reporter shouted; is he on medication or something? "We have no information about that," Chambers said.

"Is this a slam dunk?" another yelled -- louder than the others trying to lob their own questions. Chambers said there's "no such thing."

Another asked whether Chambers will seek the death penalty, and someone else asked if Holmes will be charged with domestic terrorism. Her answer to both was the same: I don't know.

Page down to see more photos from the scene and our original coverage.

The parking lot was jammed with satellite trucks.
The parking lot was jammed with satellite trucks.
Photo by Melanie Asmar

One angle on the media horde.
One angle on the media horde.
Photo by Melanie Asmar

The hallway outside the courtroom immediately after the hearing concluded.
The hallway outside the courtroom immediately after the hearing concluded.
Photo by Melanie Asmar

More of local, national and international press contingent.
More of local, national and international press contingent.
Photo by Melanie Asmar

Original post by Michael Roberts, 9:44 a.m. July 23: At accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes's first court appearance at 9:30 a.m. this morning, one mystery was solved the second he stepped into view. Holmes does indeed have dyed red hair. No word yet if that means he was masquerading as the Joker when opening fire during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, or if those online dating profiles featuring shots of him looking that way are legit. We'll have more from the scene, but in the meantime, here's a screen grab of his appearance.

James Holmes: Inside the courtroom with shock-haired Aurora theater shooting suspect

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "James Holmes's red-hair photo, dating site claims: Legit or Internet hoaxes?"


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