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Colorado Theater Shooter James Holmes Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder

Holmes now faces a sentencing phase where prosecutors are expected to seek the death penalty.

After an 11-week trial and two days of jury deliberation, James Holmes has been found guilty of multiple counts of first-degree murder in the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting trial.

The 27-year-old has been convicted for killing 12 people and injuring 70 others when he opened fire during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012.

Arapahoe County District Chief Judge Carlos Samour Jr. read the verdict on Thursday evening (July 16) after a nearly three-month trial marked by gruesome crime scene details and disturbing testimony from nearly 300 witnesses.

Holmes will now face a month-long sentencing phase where jurors will decide whether he should be sent to prison for life or sentenced to death. Prosecutors have made it clear they wish to seek the death penalty.

Holmes, a former neuroscience student, admitted to the killings and pleaded he was not guilty by reason of insanity. His defense attorneys argued he was suffering a psychotic episode at the time of the shooting.

The chaotic rampage included casualties ranging in age from 6 to 51, and was one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.