James Holmes Update: Colo. theater shooting suspect scheduled to appear in court today

Just after midnight on July 20, 2012, police say James Holmes, dressed in black and sporting nearly head-to-toe tactical garb, set off some sort of smoke bomb inside Theater 9 of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Holmes allegedly began shooting at the audience, who was there to see a premiere of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Twelve people were killed, 58 others injured. Holmes surrendered to police soon after the massacre in the parking lot behind the theater. Holmes is charged with multiple first-degree murder and attempted murder counts.
AP Photo/RJ Sangosti
James Holmes
AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File

(CBS/AP) CENTENNIAL, Co. - James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado movie theater killings, is returning to court today for a hearing that might be the closest thing to a trial the victims and their families get to see.

PICTURES: The Colorado massacre suspect

Holmes, 25, is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 58 by opening fire in a theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora last July.

A week-long preliminary hearing for Holmes starts today. Prosecutors will outline their case against Holmes, making it the first official public disclosure of their evidence.

The judge will then determine whether to send the case to trial.

Legal analysts say the evidence appears to be so strong that Holmes may well accept a plea agreement that would rule out the death penalty.

He faces multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

Complete coverage of James Holmes on Crimesider