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Death penalty to be discussed with Colo. victims' families

5:16 AM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes in court on Monday, July 23, 2012
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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The lead prosecutor handling Friday's massacre at a Colorado movie theater says she'll talk to families of the victims before deciding whether to pursue the death penalty against James Holmes.

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The suspect appeared in court Monday for the first time since his arrest, with hair dyed a bright reddish-orange. He appeared dazed and did not speak during the hearing. He's expected to be formally charged next Monday.

Prosecutors said later they didn't know if he was on medication. Holmes is being held in isolation and refusing to cooperate.

The attack by a gunman during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" left 12 people dead and injured 58 more. Authorities say most sustained gunshot wounds, while others were injured in the rush to leave the theater.

Hospital officials say two more survivors have been released and another is improving. But 16 patients remain in three hospitals. Seven are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, an attorney for the family of theater shooting suspect James Holmes says the family is sticking by him. Holmes' family members issued a statement Monday saying that their hearts go out to the victims and their families.

The lawyer says Holmes' mother said she had no idea her son was believed to be the gunman until she was contacted by a reporter.

(Associated Press)

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