CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – The latest in the Colorado theater shooting trial verdict.
The trial now enters the punishment phase, when the jury must determine whether Holmes, 27, should be put to death or serve a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole. They must decide whether they accept or reject the defense team’s plea that Mr. Holmes was insane while committing the crime.
Prosecutors argued Holmes knew exactly what he was doing when he methodically gunned down strangers in the stadium-style theater, taking aim at those who fled.
Then King described how Holmes lost his girlfriend and career, failed at graduate school, and most significantly, stopped taking anti-psychotic medication that made him stable.
Holmes faced 164 charges of murder and attempted murder, as well as one count of possession of explosives.
Samour’s detailed and extensive jury instructions prior to final arguments lasted nearly three hours, as the judge is being extraordinarily careful to avoid a mistrial or an overturned verdict on the appellate level.
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting case are being sent home after convicting James Holmes on 165 counts for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.
The panel must decide whether prosecutors have met their burden in proving Holmes was capable of knowing right from wrong and therefore legally sane under Colorado law.
Closing arguments had been scheduled to start earlier in the day but were delayed after the defense said some of the slides prosecutors planned to show jurors were improper.
They said he suffered from schizophrenia, and they called two doctors who said Holmes was in the grips of a psychotic episode when he acted on delusions that propelled him to kill.
The three-month trial – during which jurors heard from more than 250 witnesses and pored over thousands of pages of evidence – was deeply emotional. He could now face life in prison or the death penalty. “Well, because he is mentally ill”. Twelve people died and 70 were injured.
Defence lawyers tried to present him as a once-promising student so crippled by mental illness that he couldn’t reveal his struggles to anyone who might have helped.
The jury in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting trial has reached a decision about James Holmes’ fate and will announce their verdict at 6 p.m. EDT, according to media reports. King showed jurors images of Holmes looking dazed and sullen with fiery orange hair after the July 20, 2012, attack. However, he has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Jurors watched almost 22 hours of videotaped interviews showing Holmes talking in a flat, mechanical tone about his desire to kill strangers to increase his self-worth.
His 90-minute presentation reviewed the mountains of evidence, peppered with photos of Holmes’ victims. In 2013, the prosecution signaled it would seek the death penalty. “That guy was sane beyond a reasonable doubt, and he needs to be held accountable for what he did”.
The jury deliberated a day and a half.