James Holmes — the gunman behind the 2012 massacre at a movie theater in Colorado — has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
A jury decided his fate on Friday and the verdict was just delivered.
On July 20, 2012, Holmes burst into a Century theater in Aurora, Colorado during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. He lobbed tear gas canisters into the audience and began firing with multiple guns.
Twelve people were killed, including a 6-year-old girl. Another 70 were injured — the largest number of casualties in a U.S. shooting.
In July 2015, Holmes was convicted of 24 counts of first-degree murder (two for each person killed), 140 counts of attempted first-degree murder, one count of possessing explosives, and a sentence enhancement of a crime of violence. He confessed to the shootings but plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
The defense hoped the insanity plea would spare Holmes the death penalty. But while they rejected the insanity plea, finding him culpable for the murders, they could not agree on the death penalty — which requires an unanimous vote.
The theater where the massacre took place reopened in January 2013.
Sadly, there have been similar incidents since, including an attack this week in Antioch, Tennessee. Last month, two moviegoers in Lafayette, Louisiana were killed by a gunman during a screening of Trainwreck.
We hope the family and friends of the victims will find some solace by the verdict.
[Image via AP Images.]