Holmes jury declines to rule out death penalty

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) – The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

The jury in the Colorado theater shooting trial has again declined to rule out the death penalty as it moves toward sentencing James Holmes.

Jurors said Monday that Holmes’ lawyers haven’t presented a strong enough case to eliminate execution as an option.

The decision clears the way for another round of arguments before the jury makes a final decision between capital punishment and life in prison without parole. Prosecutors will call victims to testify about the impact of Holmes’ crimes on their lives.

The same jury rejected Holmes’ insanity claim and found him guilty of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 more in the 2012 attack.

Prosecutors are seeking his execution, saying his cruel ambush caused untold suffering. The defense wants a life term and says mental illness drove Holmes to kill.

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12:12 p.m.

Some of the families of the 12 people killed in the Colorado theater shooting are arriving in court to hear whether jurors will keep the death penalty on the table for gunman James Holmes.

After fewer than three hours of deliberations, jurors reached a decision Monday about whether Holmes should continue to face the possibility of execution or be sentenced to life in prison.

Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex was killed while celebrating his 27th birthday, said, “This is a good day” as he entered the courthouse in suburban Denver.

The decision will be announced at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday after Holmes’ parents made an emotional plea to spare his life because he is mentally ill. The jury took Friday off and resumed deliberations Monday.

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10:40 a.m.

Jurors have reached a decision on whether to keep the death penalty as an option for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes.

A court spokesman said the decision would be announced at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday after Holmes’ parents made an emotional plea for mercy because he is mentally ill. The jury took Friday off and resumed deliberations Monday.

The nine women and three men were asked to decide whether Holmes’ mental illness and other circumstances mean he should be sentenced to life in prison instead of death for the 2012 attack that left 12 people dead and 70 injured.

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