Since being thrown behind bars as the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting, James Holmes has often spit at his jailers, ABC News reports.

The 24-year-old former doctoral student, accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 more at a midnight screening on Friday, spit so frequently that guards forced him to wear a face mask at one point, ABC said.

Details are also appearing about Holmes' actions in the weeks before one of the worst mass killings in American history. Hours after failing an oral exam on June 7 at the University of Colorado, Holmes purchased a powerful rifle, according to a separate report by ABC. Three days later he withdrew from the neuroscience program.

Holmes' behavior during his appearance in Arapahoe County court on Monday caused many to wonder about his mental state. With brightly dyed orange hair, Holmes at times sat bug-eyed and at other moments, kept his eyes shut. His public defender had to nudge him to get him to stand for the judge.

Despite the dazed demeanor in court, Holmes reportedly wasn't on drugs.

Now reports are emerging that he's behaved strangely in custody as well since his arrest at the sold-out show of "The Dark Knight Rises." Detectives covered his hands with bags so any gunpowder wouldn't be destroyed after his arrest and Holmes began playing as if the bags were puppets, KMGH reported.

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  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes, left, appears in Arapahoe County District Court, with defense attorney Tamara Brady, right, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting on Friday, July 20, in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes, Tamara Brady

    People in the courtroom listen to the court hearing of James E. Holmes in Arapahoe County District Court Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in a shooting rampage in a Colorado theater on Friday, July 20. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • In this image taken from video provided by KUSA.com, James Holmes, left, the suspected gunman in Friday's Colorado theater massacre, makes his first appearance in court with his attorney Tamara Brady in Centennial, Colo. on Monday, July 23, 2012. (AP Photo/KUSA.com)

  • Carol Chambers

    Carol Chambers, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, speaks during a media availability after a court appearance by James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Courthouse, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at a packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • James E. Holmes, Tamara Brady

    James E. Holmes, center, appears in Arapahoe County District Court, with public defenders Tamara Brady, right, and Daniel King Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in a shooting rampage in a movie theater on Friday, July 20 in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting Friday, July 20, in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • David Sanchez

    David Sanchez, whose son-in-law was critically wounded, speaks after a court appearance by shooting suspect James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Courthouse, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in the shooting attack early Friday at an Aurora, Colo., theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • Family members of a victim from last week's theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., link hands as they arrive for a court appearance by shooting suspect James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Courthouse, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in the shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • A woman, third from left, is led to the courtroom where James Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is the suspect in the mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Anggiat Situmeang,

    Anggiat Situmeang, center, who suffered an injury in last week's theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., is helped inside to see a court appearance by alleged shooter James Holmes, at the Arapahoe County Courthouse Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • James E. Holmes

    Assistant District attorney Karen Pearson speaks at a hearing for James E. Holmes in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    James E. Holmes, left, appears in Arapahoe County District Court, with defense attorney Tamara Brady, right, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting on Friday, July 20, in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

  • James E. Holmes

    District Court Judge William Blair Sylvester speaks as James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Centennial, Colo. Holmes is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and could also face additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting last Friday in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)

At some point, Holmes will undergo a full psychiatric evaluation, according to Fox News.

Witnesses to the shooting said the gunman entered the theater wearing full riot gear and detonated smoke bombs before firing randomly into the audience.

There's speculation that Holmes' lawyers will mount an insanity defense. But that could be difficult to prove according to former Denver district attorney Norm Early who noted that Holmes spent months accumulating weapons and ammunition. Holmes, also tipped off police that his apartment was booby-trapped. Early told KDVR that suggests Holmes understood his actions and knows right from wrong.

Earlier on HuffPost: