James Holmes Charged With 142 Criminal Counts, Including 24 Counts of First-Degree Murder

James Holmes, the man accused of storming a Colorado movie theater and terrorizing Batman-goers in a hail of bullets, was with 142 criminal charges today in a Centennial, Colorado, court. Holmes received 116 counts of attempted murder, and 24 counts of first-degree murder—two counts for each of the 12 victims who died. He spoke only once—"yes" in answer to a question from the Judge—but reporters in attendance described his demeanor as "calm" and his face "changing from wide-eyed and expectant to periods of staring ahead." 

Meanwhile, the mother of victim Rebecca Wingo, who died in the massacre, has retained a lawyer in order to sue the Aurora theater where it occurred. Shirley Wygal, Wingo's mother, is claiming the emergency exit doors of the theater where Holmes stormed in should have been either alarmed or attended by security guards, according to TMZ

A surviving victim, Torrence Brown Jr., whose best friend AJ Boik was killed in the shooting, has also hired an attorney. Brown too is targeting the Century 16 theater for negligence, as well as Warner Brothers, the movie studio responsible for the Dark Knight Rises, and Holmes' psychotherapists. Holmes' doctor specializes in schizophrenia, though it's not been clarified whether the shooter himself suffers from the disorder, or if it will be a factor in his defense. 

Holmes' preliminary hearing has been set for November 13.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 30, 2012, 11:40am