Abrupt Deliberations: Aurora Theater Jury Quickly Finds James Holmes Guilty

James Holmes
After almost three months of testimony in which they heard from more than 250 witnesses ­– no small measure of whom were survivors with devastating accounts of a deadly night – and examined thousands of pieces of evidence, Aurora theater jurors responded with stunning swiftness Thursday.

After a total of about 13 hours in deliberations, they were ready with verdicts

James Holmes was guilty in the murder of 12 people and attempting to murder dozens more.

Aurora shooting victim Caleb Medley, in wheelchair and his wife Katie, right, with their baby boy Hugo arrive at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado on July 16, 2015 where James Holmes was found guilty of murdering people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in 2013.

Helen H. Richardson / Getty Images

His defense – that he was legally insane at the time of the shootings – was  brushed aside with apparent ease by the nine women and three men of the jury. Two of those jurors had a connection to the Columbine High School shooting 1999, a mass murder that proved the first in a new wave of similar tragedies across the nation.

The Aurora theater trial will now enter a sentencing phase. The jury will determine if Holmes is to receive the death penalty or life in prison.

Had his insanity plea prevailed, he would have been committed indefinitely to a state mental hospital.

Our partners at 9News were among the news outlets to carry the verdicts live.

Everyone agrees that the defendant was mentally ill, said investigative reporter Chris Vanderveen. The question is of insanity, whether he knew right from wrong.

The jury’s answer to that question was not long in coming.

On the night when his rampage ended 12 lives, destroying the lives of many families along the way, and when he left an another indelible scar of mass murder on the public consciousness, James Holmes knew what he was doing.


To see myriad components of 9News coverage of the Aurora Theater Trial, please click here.

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