LBN’s Tasia Custode reports that a jury in Arapahoe County, Colorado, has convicted James Holmes of first degree murder. The jury’s verdict came almost three years after Holmes killed twelve people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012. The trial involved 165 charges against Holmes and lasted for almost three months.
The shootings at the Century 16 Theater in Aurora shocked the country, and the events of that night and its aftermath have been national news over the three years. The attack, which occurred during a midnight showing of “The Dark Night Rises,” was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Holmes’s bright red hair and history of mental issues drew the media spotlight for months.
Holmes was represented by a team of public defenders. His closing argument was delivered by Chief Deputy Public Defender Daniel King. The defense offered evidence that Holmes had suffered a psychotic break and could not be held responsible for his conduct, tragic though it was. There was psychiatric testimony on both sides of the case. The jury chose to believe the state psychiatrists and rejected the theory that Holmes was not responsible for his actions.
Now that the jury has determined that Holmes is guilty, the court will proceed with the penalty phase of the case. Under Colorado law, a defendant convicted of first degree murder may be sentenced to life in prison or may receive the death penalty. The sentencing proceedings could begin next week.
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