The man accused of one of the worst mass shootings in recent history makes an unsettling appearance.
James Eagan Holmes appeared in court for the first time Monday after he was arrested last week in the deaths of 12 people in a mass shooting at a sold-out movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester ordered Holmes, 24, held without bond, saying there was probable cause to continue the case.
Holmes, who was transported from a holding cell to the courtroom via an underground tunnel, appeared dazed. His brow furrowed. His head bobbed. His eyes opened and closed often. His hair was dyed a cartoonish orange-red. His hands and feet were shackled. He did not speak.
Seated in a jury box next to Tamara Brady, a public defender, Holmes never looked in the direction of a gallery that included victims and their advocates. Two sheriff’s deputies stood watch nearby.
His demeanor, however, angered the relatives of some of the victims of the shooting. Some stared at him the entire hearing, including Tom Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed in the attack. Teves watched Holmes intently, sizing him up.
“I saw the coward in court today and Alex could have wiped the floor with him without breaking a sweat,” said Teves, whose son, a physical therapist, dove to protect his girlfriend.
“You shot a 6-year-old. Come on give me a break. You’re dressed in full combat gear, immediately surrender. Come on. Pick on some guys who know how to use guns,” Teves told the AP.
The preliminary hearing lasted about 11 minutes. Holmes’ next court appearance is July 30, when he is expected to be charged.
Holmes could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from the mass shooting that killed 12 and injured 58 people at an Aurora, Colo., screening of “Dark Knight Rises.”