James Holmes has been found guilty of murder in the July 2012 Colorado theater shooting, CNN reports! Now, the next question jurors will be asked after finding Holmes guilty of first-degree murder is tge determination of whether James Holmes will be getting the death for killing 12 people inside an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater.
Holmes faced two counts of first-degree murder for each of the 12 victims and the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts.
Holmes, who had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, showed no reaction as the verdict against him was read. He just stood at the defense table with his attorney, with his hands in his pockets.
The jury also found him guilty of attempted murder on all of the 140 counts against him for the 70 people wounded in the shooting. Additionally, he was found guilty of one count of possession or control of an explosive or incendiary device. He faced a total of 165 charges altogether.
When the judge read the first guilty verdict, family members let out an audible sigh of relief. As the verdicts continued to be read, and people waited for the specific counts relating to their loved ones, family members started reaching out to one another, placing their hands on each others’ shoulders and backs in support.
Sandy Phillips, Ghawi’s mother, later cheered the verdict, saying: “We are very happy that this animal, that this monster, will never see the light of day.”
Jansen Young, the girlfriend of victim Jonathan Blunk, said she felt relief as the verdict was read.
“I didn’t know what I would feel when I came, but I just feel so much relief. Justice is here,” she told CNN affiliate KMGH. “This is a huge step forward today.”
The verdict was reached in almost 12½ hours: The jury began deliberations Wednesday morning.
A sentencing phase, which is expected to last about one month, is slated to begin next Wednesday. The same jury will deliberate during that phase. In 2013, the prosecution signaled it would seek the death penalty.
By virtue of his insanity plea, the now 27-year-old Holmes had never denied he was behind the killings. But given his mental state, his lawyers argued that he should not be found culpable.
“The evidence is clear that he could not control his thoughts, … he could not control his actions, and he could not control his perceptions,” defense attorney Dan King said during closing