Prosecutors filed formal charges on Monday against James Holmes, the lone suspect in the fatal shooting of 12 moviegoers during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo.

Holmes, who was represented by a public defender at the hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder.

His attorneys asked for more time before entering a plea. For each of the 12 fatally shot moviegoers, Holmes faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder with "extreme indifference." The maximum penalty is death, the Denver Post reported.

A 24-year-old former doctoral student at the University of Colorado, Denver, Holmes was held on suspicion of first-degree murder charges since the July 20 shooting spree during a midnight screening of the new Batman movie. Holmes, dressed in ballistic gear and armed with an assault rifle and three other guns, set off gas canisters before opening fire in the sold-out theater, police said.

Holmes spoke just once Monday morning. When asked if he agreed to waive his rights to a preliminary hearing within 35 days, he answered "yes."

Read the criminal complaint filed against James Holmes

Prosecutors were expected to file the charges last week, but at a July 23 hearing they requested and were granted a continuance. District Court Judge William Sylvester issued an order forbidding Holmes from having contact with victims or witnesses. He also barred law enforcement and attorneys from speaking publicly about the case, in an effort to protect Holmes’ constitutional right to a fair trial.

Prior to the media gag order, 18th Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers said her office was considering the death penalty against Holmes. It remains unclear if a decision has been made.

In contrast to Holmes' first appearance in court last week, no cameras were permitted in the courtroom. His arrival Monday was kept largely out of sight as officials brought him to court through an underground tunnel. For the past week, images of his bright orange hair and facial expressions appeared repeatedly in the news media.

Holmes allegedly told his Colorado jailers that he does not know why he is behind bars. According to the Daily News, an employee of the Arapahoe County Detention Center said the jailers believe Holmes is faking amnesia.

Holmes is being detained without bond.

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  • Family members of the victims of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., comfort each other, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Family members of the victims of Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., comfort each other, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A woman carries a wreath, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A group of friends with various connections to the deceased and wounded gather at a prayer vigil outside the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colo., Sunday July 22, 2012. The vigil was held to remember the dead and injured in the shooting rampage Friday at movie theater in in Aurora. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • In this overview, the Living Hope Baptist Church choir sing to start the a vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater, Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the Aurora Municipal Center campus in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Joe Amon, Pool)

  • Aurora Police officer John Bulman keeps an eye on the crowd during a prayer vigil, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • The sun breaks through clouds, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A woman carries a balloon that says "Missed by many, forgotten by none," as she walks to a memorial display, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • U.S. Navy officers salute Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., after they left items at a memorial display at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A man holds his head in front of a memorial after a pray vigil Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Aurora, Colo. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

  • People hold signs of hope that feature the Batman logo as they attend a prayer vigil Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., for victims Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater showing the latest Batman movie. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • A man at a prayer vigil for victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. pauses after placing items at a memorial display, Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Audience members pray, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Anne Marie Hochhalter, 30, bottom, and her friend Roxy Chesser, 30, second from right, attend a prayer vigil, held to remember the lost and injured in Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater, in a park outside the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colo., Sunday July 22, 2012. Hochhalter, a paralyzed victim of the Columbine High School tragedy over 12 years ago, and other survivors of the 1999 massacre reached out to people who survived the theater shooting. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Aurora shooting

    Balloons released by family members of the victims of Friday's shooting are reflected in the windows of Aurora City Hall, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Aurora shooting

    Family members remember their loved ones Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Aurora shooting

    Family members remember their loved ones Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Aurora shooting, John Hickenlooper

    Gov. John Hickenlooper, center, bows his head Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Aurora shooting

    Cub Scouts carry flowers to a memorial display Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Aurora shooting

    The crowd listens to speakers Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo., at a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's mass shooting at a movie theater. 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in a shooting during an early Friday premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." (AP Photo/The Denver Post, AAron Ontiveroz, Pool)

  • Stacy Moriarty, center left, raises her hand as she she joins thousand in a unified cheer as Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks during a vigil, Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the Aurora Municipal Center in Aurora, Colo., for the victims of Friday's mass shooting a movie theater. Twelve people were killed and dozens were injured in a shooting attack early Friday at the packed theater during a showing of the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)