Colorado shooter formally charged

James Holmes, the alleged Aurora movie theatre shooter, was formally charged Monday with 142 criminal counts, reports The New York Times.

The charges include 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder, according to The Globe and Mail. He was also charged with possession of explosives

Holmes didn’t react to the charges and instead stared at the ceiling and floor, even when the judge told him he could face the death penalty. He did not enter a plea.

Formal charges will be filed against James Holmes in the Colorado movie theatre shootings that killed 12 and injured 58, reports The Globe and Mail.

It’s largely believed that Holmes’ defence will deal with his sanity at the time of the massacre.

Attorneys will also argue over a defence motion to find out who leaked information to the media abut the package Holmes allegedly send to his psychiatrist.

Analysts say that it’s unlikely that Holmes has any defence other than insanity due to the boldness and public nature of the attacks. Under Colorado law, defendants aren’t liable for their acts if they can’t distinguish between right and wrong.

There are two levels of insanity defenses: the first, that the accused isn’t mentally competent to stand trail, and the second, that he is mentally ill and should therefore be spared the death penalty.