In Centennial, Co., a jury found James Holmes guilty of murder for killing 12 people in an Aurora movie theater in 2012, one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. The Denver Post says that “in count after emphatic count, jurors rejected the defense’s argument that what happened at the Century Aurora 16 theater on July 20, 2012, was a tragic act of insanity. It was a deliberate crime, jurors said.” Holmes now faces possible execution. Holmes is now bearded and several pounds heavier than the red-haired wisp who shuffled into the same courtroom for his first appearance.
Prosecutors argued that the shooting, planned for months in advance, was a calculated act by a selfish man who wanted to kill others to make himself feel better. Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student at the University of Colorado, had recently broken up with his girlfriend, failed a crucial exam and dropped out of school. The defense countered that the shooting was the result of a delusional belief by Holmes, who has been diagnosed repeatedly with schizophrenia, that killing would boost his “human capital.” They painted him as a man controlled by his thoughts. The trial’s penalty phase, which starts Wednesday, could last a month.