James Holmes, the Colorado shooter accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others at a midnight screening of the new “Batman” film in Aurora movie theater was charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.
International news sites reported that Holmes was also slapped on Monday with one count of possession of an explosive device, and one sentence enhancement count for a “crime of violence.” Prosecutors have said a decision could be several weeks away on whether to seek the death penalty against Holmes.
According to court documents, Holmes, 24, faces two counts of first-degree murder for each of the 12 victim who died in the rampage – one for carrying out the crime “after deliberation” and the second for “malice manifesting extreme indifference to human life.” Prosecutors also filed 116 counts of attempted murder against Holmes for wounding 58 more people in the theater with indiscriminate firing.
The promising neuroscience student reportedly purchased a high-powered rifle hours after failing a key oral exam at the University of Colorado. It is possible that Holmes had an underlying mental illness that was triggered by the stress of failure, experts said.
Holmes‘ attorneys disclosed on Friday that he had been a patient of University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton as they sought to gain access to a package he had mailed to her prior to the massacre. It reportedly contains a notebook detailing the shooting scenario.