A jury on Friday renounced to recommend the death penalty for James Holmes, the perpetrator of the massacre that killed 12 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, automatically leading to a sentence of life imprisonment for the man.
We have not reached a unanimous verdict (…) we expect that the Court will impose a sentence of life without parole for James Holmes, said one of the 12 jurors.
The final verdict will be pronounced by a judge, Carlos Samur, between August 24th and 26th.
Heavily armed, James Holmes entered a crowded movie theater during a screening of Batman, The Dark Knight Rises back in July 20, 2012.
According to witnesses, he threw a smoke bomb into the room before opening fire, shooting randomly with an AR-15 assault rifle, a .40 caliber pistol and a shotgun. The shooting claimed the lives of 12 people, including a six-year-old girl.
During preliminary hearings, prosecutors had said that James Holmes had carefully planned the massacre and had enough ammunition to kill all the people at the movie theater; 400 people were present that night.
Three years after the massacre, in July, James Holmes was convicted of premeditated murder with extreme indifference to each of the twelve victims.
It took an hour for the judge Carlos Samur to read the 165 charges against James Holmes, who was also accused of attempted murder for the 70 people who were injured, and possession of weapons and explosives.
His lawyer, Dan King, unsuccessfully tried to paint his client as a mentally ill person with a family history of schizophrenia: When Holmes entered the theater (…) he lost all contact with reality, the lawyer had said.