الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Verdict reached for US cinema gunman

James Holmes

Holmes’ defence claimed he was insane at the time of the shooting

Jurors have decided whether to sentence Colorado cinema gunman James Holmes to death or send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student, killed 12 people and wounded 70 others during a late night screening of a Batman film in 2012.

The decision will be announced at 5pm local time (23:00 GMT) in a courtroom in Centennial, Colorado.

His defence team had argued that he was insane at the time of the shootings.

But prosecutors said that Holmes, though mentally ill, was responsible for his actions, and the jury agreed.

He will only receive the death sentence if the jury is unanimous.

In July, Holmes was convicted on 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and an explosives charge.


Families of victims are conflicted about Holmes’ fate


The trial, which has lasted for months, featured dozens of witnesses

Families of victims appear to be conflicted over whether Holmes should get the death penalty. Some are worried about the long process of appeals that often follow a death sentence and want closure in the case more quickly.

On 20 July 2012, he slipped into a midnight screening of Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, in Aurora, Colorado, armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.

The prosecution said he was listening to loud techno music on headphones during the assault “to block out the screams” as he opened fire. He threw smoke canisters and shot at people trying to escape.

Prosecutors argued the attack was clearly premeditated, with Mr Holmes planning and amassing weapons for months, as well as elaborately booby-trapping his apartment to kill anyone who tried to enter.

His parents, Robert and Arlene Holmes said their son was “not a monster”, but suffers from severe mental illness.

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