Jury reaches decision on James Holmes’ sentence

James Holmes
File - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater mass shooter James Holmes, who was convicted on July 16, 2015, appears in court, in Centennial, Colo. Even if Holmes is sentenced to death, he could spend much of the rest of his life in prison awaiting execution. Colorado has executed only one person in the last forty years, Gary Davis, in 1997. Just three people sit on death row in Colorado. (AP Photo/The Denver Post, Andy Cross, Pool, file)

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting case have reached a decision on whether James Holmes should get life in prison or the death penalty.

They deliberated for about six and a half hours before reaching a decision Friday. It will be announced at 7 p.m.

The same jurors rejected Holmes’ insanity defense and convicted him of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 others three years ago at a suburban Denver movie theater.

During the sentencing phase, the defense told jurors that the shooting was caused by the psychotic breakdown of a mentally ill young man. The nine women and three men also listened to the stories of the children, spouses and parents of the 12 people killed and how their lives were changed forever by the attack.

Jurors would have to unanimously agree for Holmes to be sentenced to death.

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