(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Colorado movie theater gunman James Holmes will receive life in prison after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision in the penalty phase of his trial Friday.
Last month, Holmes was found guilty of all 165 charges against him — including the murder of 12 people at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. The jury decided in the trial’s second phase not to eliminate the death penalty as a potential punishment, leaving them to decide between either the death penalty or life in prison in the trial’s final stage.
The jury, which began deliberating on the penalty phase on Thursday, could not reach a unanimous decision to sentence Holmes to the death penalty on any of the counts. That meant the jury’s decision was automatically to give Holmes life in prison.
The judge had previously said that he would most likely sentence Holmes to whichever punishment the jury decided on. The official sentencing, however, will come at a later date.
Holmes was hit with two counts of first degree murder for each of the victims he fatally shot, and then two counts of attempted murder for each of the 70 others who were injured but survived.
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