Breaking: Aurora Theatre Shooter James Holmes Guilty On All Counts, Faces Death Penalty

Breaking: Aurora Theatre Shooter James Holmes Guilty On All Counts, Faces Death Penalty

Breaking: Aurora Theatre Shooter James Holmes Guilty On All Counts, Faces Death Penalty

On Tuesday evening, July 14, 2015, after three very long months of testimony, 200 witnesses and nearly 22 hours of interviews; the jury for the Aurora Theatre shooting received the case and began deliberations. They had to decide if James Holmes was legally insane at the time of the shooting. If he is found legally insane, then Holmes will be committed to a state mental hospital indefinitely. If they don’t find him legally insane, then they must find him either guilty or innocent.

James Holmes in white shirt and glasses on far left
James Holmes in white shirt and glasses on far left

Below is the list of the murder counts the jury had to review during their deliberations:

Counts 1 through 12

First-degree murder – after deliberation

The full formal charge, which will be read aloud in court is: “On or about 7/20/2012, James Eagan Holmes unlawfully, feloniously, after intent to cause the death of a person other than himself, caused the death of [VICTIM]; in violation of section 18-3-102(1)(a), C.R.S.”
This is the first of two theories of murder being charged. It means he planned to kill the victim, then he did.
Counts 13 through 24

First-degree murder – extreme indifference

This is the second of two theories of murder being charged. In layman’s terms, it means he maliciously did something that could kill a person, and then he killed a person.
The full formal charge, which will be read aloud in court is: “On or about 7/20/2012, James Eagan Holmes unlawfully and feloniously, under circumstances evidencing an attitude of universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life generally, knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to persons other than himself, and thereby caused the death of [VICTIM]; in violation of section 18-3-102(1)(d), C.R.S.”
Counts 25 through 94

Attempted first-degree murder – after deliberation

Similar to the murder charges, one of two theories. This one similar to counts 1-12.
One charge for each of the 70 injured victims.
Counts 95 through 164

Similar to the murder charges, one of two theories. This one similar to counts 13-24.
One charge for each of the 70 injured victims.
Count 165

Possession of an explosive or incendiary device

This charge stems from Holmes booby-trapping his apartment with an elaborate setup of explosive material.

After just 13 hours of deliberations, the jury has returned its verdict. They rejected James Holmes insanity plea and have found him GUILTY on all counts. Now the jury will have to decide whether Holmes should receive the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison.   

It will be almost three years from the night of July 20, 2012 when James Holmes after months of elaborate planning, walked into an Aurora theatre during a special opening weekend screening of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” set off gas & smoke canisters and opened fire with multiple weapons. By the time it was over 12 men, women, and children were dead and 70 others were wounded.

Aurora Police responded to the Century 16 movie theatre early Friday morning, July 20, 2012.  Scanner traffic indicates that dozens of people were hurt in a shooting inside the theatre. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
Aurora Police responded to the Century 16 movie theatre early Friday morning, July 20, 2012. Scanner traffic indicates that dozens of people were hurt in a shooting inside the theatre. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Since the events of that horrific time the families, victims, and the first responders have struggled with what they witnessed and with the pain of deep loss. Those wounded (some who still have bullets in their bodies or are paralyzed) have slowly have persevered, have rebuilt their lives, and have faced the demon who shattered their lives.

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Today Justice has been served. Let us take some time to thank and honor the many first responders and hospital staff who gave 200% of themselves that night and for many days afterwards.  Let us pray for the 70 heroic survivors who have been stitching their lives together and LIVING to the fullest in spite of and because of a great tragedy.

Aurora-theater-victims

Most of all, let us pray for the families of and remember the 12 souls who are no longer with us: Jonathan Blunk, Alex “A.J.” Boik, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer, Matthew McQuinn, Micayla Medek, 6 year old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Alex Sullivan, Alex Teves, and Rebecca Ann Wingo.

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