CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Deliberations in phase two of the sentencing hearing for the Aurora theater shooter began at 3:30 p.m. on July 27. Deliberations concluded just before 10 a.m. Monday, with the jury telling the court they had reached a verdict.
That verdict was read in the courtroom at 12:30 p.m. and shown live in the video player above, with the jury finding the mitigating factors presented by the defense in phase two did not outweigh the aggravation presented by the prosecution in phase one. As such, the sentencing hearing continues to phase three, which will begin Tuesday at 10 a.m.
FOX31 Denver has carried the entire trial live, and we will continue to do so here until the sentencing phase is complete. The death penalty is still on the table as a possible sentence for James Holmes, convicted on July 16 of killing 12 and injuring 70 others.
In phase two, jurors considered mitigating evidence presented by the defense team. The jury heard from a slew of the gunman’s family and friends, including his parents and sister, all of whom insisted he is severely mentally ill and was never violent until the shooting.
If even one juror found those mitigating factors outweighed the four aggravation factors they found to be present in phase one, the trial would have concluded with Holmes receiving a life sentence. Since the jury unanimously agreed those mitigating factors did not outweigh the aggravation, the court now continues to phase three, in which the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office will be allowed to present victim impact statements, a processthey expect to last three days.
Below is a live blog with observations and analysis on the phase two verdict from our team, which has been covering this case and impending verdict since the tragic shooting on July 20, 2012 inside the Aurora Century 16 theaters at the premiere of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”
There is no need to refresh this page. The live blog updates in real-time.
Have a trial question you’d like answered? Ask it on Twitter. If you direct your tweet to FOX31 Digital Content Editor (@will_c_holden) or include the hashtag #theatershooting, we will make sure to address it.