Colorado theater shooter James Holmes formally sentenced to life in prison
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Colorado theater shooter James Holmes has been formally sentenced to life in prison.
Judge Carlos Samour Jr. had no other option after a split jury decided the sentence earlier this month. A death sentence required a unanimous jury verdict.
Samour sentenced Holmes Wednesday after two days of testimony from about 100 survivors of the 2012 massacre. Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 by firing upon a midnight movie showing of a Batman film.
His attorneys argued that Holmes, who had just dropped out of a prestigious graduate neuroscience program, was gripped by a psychotic episode when he opened fire.
Prosecutors emphasized Holmes’ elaborate planning for the attack. He stockpiled guns and ammunition and methodically mapped out the Aurora theater complex to determine which auditorium would allow for the most casualties.
The judge contrasted the valor and strength of Holmes’ victims with the weakness of the defendant.
Samour read remarks given by several victims in the trial — and praised one that stated: “We’re still standing. We came together and became something stronger than the defendant could ever imagine.”
Samour declared that the victims in the case have shown the courage to fight larger problems than Holmes ever faced.
Samour also praised the jury that handed Holmes the life sentence before formally sentencing him Wednesday to spend the rest of his days in prison.