Jury decides Colorado theater shooter guilty of 24 murder counts

Updated: 2015-07-17 09:31


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Jury decides Colorado theater shooter guilty of 24 murder counts

Aurora theater shooting victim Caleb Medley (in wheelchair) arrives with his wife Katie (pushing him) at the Arapahoe County Courthouse in Centennial, Colorado July 16, 2015 to hear the verdict in the trial. Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes was found guilty on Thursday of multiple counts of first degree murder, a verdict that enables prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the former graduate student who killed a dozen people and wounded 70 at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

DENVER, the United States - A Colorado jury Thursday rejected the insanity plea of James Holmes, who killed 12 people and wounded 70 others in a theater shooting in 2012.

The jury of 3 men and 9 women decided he is guilty of 165 counts against him, including 24 counts of first-degree murder, as each of the 12 people killed by the 27-year-old former neuroscience Ph.D. candidate had two counts of murder attached to him.

Holmes ripped hundreds of bullets in the attack at a midnight theater showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20 of 2012, almost exactly 3 years ago.

The defense' argument that Holmes was in the throes of a psychotic episode when he committed the act, was not convincing to the jury. Instead, the jury followed the reasoning of Arapaho County district attorney George Brauchler, who said Holmes knew he was doing evil, he planned the mass murder, and he showed extreme indifference.

Tears were seen throughout the court room as Arapaho County Judge Carlos Samour, Jr., read each of the verdicts that took him one hour to read.

During the past 10 weeks, the jurors heard the testimonies of more than 250 witnesses, including survivors, psychiatrists, teachers and friends of Holmes.

Holmes will wait another few weeks before his likely death penalty sentencing is conferred, as a seperate sentencing hearing will take place to determine his exact punishment. There is still possibility one juror may disagree, and spare him the death penalty.

Holmes' parents sat behind him during the announcement, holding hands and looking straight ahead in shock.

The verdict drew members of the media from around the world.

About 70 victims, friends and families packed a court room section wept during the hour-long pronouncement. Three woman members of the jury were also seen tearful, as well as members of the media.

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