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Colorado massacre suspect makes 1st court appearance

  • This photo provided by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes. Holmes, who police say is the suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, is to appear in court Monday July 23, 2012. (AP Photo/University of Colorado)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — His hair dyed a shocking comic-book shade of orange-red, the former doctoral student accused of killing moviegoers at a showing of the new Batman movie appeared in court for the first time on Monday, but he didn't seem to be there at all.

James Holmes shuffled into court in a maroon jailhouse jumpsuit with his hands cuffed — the first look the world got of the 24-year-old since the Friday shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 others injured at a packed midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

Unshaven and appearing dazed, Holmes sat virtually motionless during the hearing, his eyes drooping as the judge advised him of the severity of the case. At one point, Holmes simply closed his eyes. Prosecutors said they didn't know if he was being medicated.

Throughout the hearing, he never said a word. His attorneys did all the talking when the judge asked him if he understood his rights.

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 said.

The hearing was the first confirmation that Holmes' hair was colored. On Friday, there were reports of his hair being red and that he told arresting officers that he was "The Joker." Batman's nemesis in the fictional Gotham has brightly colored hair.

It could not immediately be confirmed if he told officers that he was Batman's enemy, however.

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