James Holmes Found Guilty in Colorado Movie Theater Massacre

Jury rejects Holmes’ insanity plea, convicting him for killing 12 people and wounding more than 70 others

Last Updated: July 16, 2015 @ 7:49 PM

A Colorado jury on Thursday found James Holmes guilty of killing 12 people and wounding at least 70 others in a 2012 massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

The trial will now enter a second phase in which the jury will consider the punishment for Holmes, either life in prison or the death penalty.

After a nearly three-month trial, marked by gruesome crime-scene details and harrowing eyewitness testimony, the jury rejected the defense argument that Holmes, 27, was not guilty by reason of insanity.

His lawyers admitted he was the gunman in court filings, but argued that their client “was in the throes of a psychotic episode when he committed the acts.”

The verdict came just days before the third anniversary of the attack, which occurred during a midnight screening of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 22, 2012.

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

Holmes, a former doctoral student in neuroscience, walked into the 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.

At least three people were hit by a bullet that passed through the wall into an adjacent theater.