We've Got Hollywood Covered
|

Colorado Theater Shooter James Holmes Gets 12 Life Sentences, Plus 3,318 Years

”It is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again,“ judge says

James Holmes was sentenced to 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years on Wednesday after a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty earlier this month.

The 27-year-old former graduate student was found guilty of killing 12 people and wounding 70 more during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, in July 2012.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. handed down a life term for each person he killed, plus 3,318 years for the attempted murders of those he wounded and for rigging his apartment with explosives, CNN reported. He is not eligible for parole.

“It is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again,” Samour said after imposing the sentence. “If there was ever a case that warranted a maximum sentence, this is the case. The defendant does not deserve any sympathy,” he added, before demanding Holmes be immediately removed from the courtroom.

Prosecutor George Brauchler later said he believed the sentence to be the fourth longest in U.S. history.

Holmes was found guilty on July 16 on 24 counts of first degree murder, two for each of his victims, after a nearly three-month trial. The jury rejected his lawyers’ argument that Holmes was not guilty by reason of insanity, however one lone holdout did not agree to impose the death penalty.

In the infamous attack, Holmes, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, walked into a theater 30 minutes into the movie dressed in black tactical gear. He dropped two smoke-emitting canisters and then opened fire on the crowd with a 12-gauge shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle.

The shooting rampage was one of the most deadly in recent U.S. history, with the victims ranging in age from 6 to 51.

His sentencing came on the same day that WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were shot and killed while doing a standard live TV shot with an interviewee at Bridgewater Plaza near Moneta, Virginia, when a gunman opened fire on them live.

Vester Flanagan, the suspect in the shooting and a former colleague of the two journalists, died Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after tweeting about the killing and leading police on a car chase, authorities said.