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James Holmes Found Guilty in Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Case; Could Face Death Penalty

James Holmes verdict announced
RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images

A jury has found James Holmes guilty on 24 counts of first-degree murder for shooting and killing a dozen people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012. Holmes’ shooting spree injured 70 more. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, though he did not deny that he committed the acts.

Holmes was looking at two counts of first-degree murder for each victim, thus the 24 counts of which he was found guilty.

In addition, Holmes was found guilty of 140 other counts in connection with the people who were injured in the massacre.

The massacre occurred at the opening-night screening of The Dark Knight Rises, a massive hit that essentially guaranteed a fully packed theater. The jury of nine women and three men heard dozens of witnesses’ testimony during the trial, which began in April and lasted nearly three months, but never saw Holmes himself take the stand. They did, however, view 22 hours of recorded interviews with him at the psychiatric hospital at which he was being held.

The sentencing phase,which should take about a month, is expected to commence next week, during which prosecutors will push for a death sentence and Holmes’ defense team will argue that he should not be executed. If his life is spared, he will spend the rest of his days in prison without the possibility of parole.

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