A Colorado jury sentenced movie rampage gunman James Holmes to life in prison on Friday, rejecting the death penalty for the 27-year-old who entered a midnight showing of a Batman movie wearing a gas mask, helmet and body armor and shot dead a dozen people.
Last month, the panel of nine women and three men found the former neuroscience graduate student guilty on all counts related to the July 2012 massacre. They were not unanimous, however, on the death penalty, which means Holmes receives an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole.
After warning members of the public in the gallery against making any emotional outbursts, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour began reading the verdict forms.
On each count, he read, the panel had been unable to agree that Holmes should be executed by lethal injection, and that they understood that as a result, the court will impose a sentence of life imprisonment.
Holmes showed no reaction, staring straight ahead, hands in pockets.
The verdict brings to an end a long-delayed, lengthy, and high-profile trial just a little more than three years after Holmes’ rampage in a suburban Denver multiplex put a spotlight on gun control, mental illness and security in public spaces.
The jury already convicted him on all charges from the July 20, 2012 mass shooting at the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora. Seventy people were also wounded in the attack.
Prosecutors say Holmes aimed to slaughter all 400 theater goers. But he failed to kill more, they…