CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial:
Testimony in the final sentencing phase for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes has wrapped up for the day after a string of victims and witnesses read statements about the crime’s impact.
The three-day hearing that began Monday gives survivors a chance to share their stories with the judge, but it won’t change Holmes’ sentence. The jury already has determined that Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
At least 100 victims and witnesses are expected to testify in the final phase. Judge Carlos Samour must hand down sentences on 141 other counts that include attempted murder and an explosives charge.
The July 20, 2012, attack left 12 people dead and 70 others injured.
The grandfather of the youngest victim of the Colorado theater attack called on shooter James Holmes to “do the correct thing for once” and petition the court to be executed by firing squad.
Robert Sullivan testified Monday during the final sentencing phase for Holmes, who shot 12 people to death and injured 70 others in the 2012 massacre in suburban Denver.
Sullivan called the death of a child “a profound and unique horror all unto itself.” He recalled his granddaughter, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, as a sweet, sensitive, angelic and innocent little girl who “has and will always remain in those hallowed reaches in my heart and mind.”
With Veronica’s photo displayed on the courtroom wall, Sullivan said, “I think of her soft brown eyes, so innocent, so sensitive, as if kissed by the summer’s warm rays.”
Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of 12 counts of murder. As a formality, the judge also must sentence him on 141 other counts that include attempted murder and an explosives charge.
Survivors and witnesses of the Colorado theater attack are remembering the victims of the massacre and describing how it has affected their lives.
They are testifying in the final sentencing phase for James Holmes, who opened fire on a packed suburban Denver movie theater on July 20, 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others.
Sonya Akutagawa remembered calling hospitals in a panic after the attack to try to find her niece, 32-year-old Rebecca Wingo. Wingo, who was killed in the shooting, was a single mother of two daughters.
Akutagawa said, “There was not any hate or anger in Becky’s heart, and I know she wouldn’t want anyone to carry that burden.”
Also Monday, Amber Raney, who was in the theater, recounted hearing people screaming and said she has had constant nightmares about death since the attack. She added that she is now always cautious and aware of her surroundings, “but no person should ever have to feel like that.”
The judge in the Colorado theater shooting trial chastised some survivors Monday for criticizing the outcome of the trail.
Survivors and witnesses of the 2012 movie theater attack are testifying in a final sentencing phase for shooter James Holmes. Though a jury sentenced him to life without parole for 12 counts of murder, the judge in the case is now hearing impact statements to set sentences on 141 other counts, including attempted murder.
Some survivors complained that Holmes will serve life in prison instead of being executed.
One mother of a shooting survivor called the life sentence unjust.
After her speech, District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. gave a lengthy rebuttal, saying that justice doesn’t mean that victims get the outcome they want.
Samour said the jurors did their jobs, and that justice means giving the facts to a jury and accepting their decision.
Samour said: “If it was a popularity contest, then you could never have justice.”
Police officers who responded to the Colorado theater shooting three years ago are getting a chance to talk about how that night affected them.
The officers are talking in court during the final phase of sentencing for Aurora theater shooter James Holmes.Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted Aug. 7 of 12 counts of murder.
As a formality, the judge also must sentence Holmes on 141 other counts that include attempted murder and an explosives charge.
Victims and survivors of the shooting testified during the four-month trial. But first responders and police officers weren’t allowed to talk about how the grisly massacre affected them personally.
Witness testifying Monday included Aurora Police Cmdr. Michael Dailey, who talked about washing victims’ blood out of his uniform. He says responders have struggled with depression and nightmares since that night.
Dailey says he hopes every day is painful for Holmes and that “prison is not kind to him.”
Colorado theater shooter James Holmes looks like a prisoner again.
The mass murderer was in an orange prison jumpsuit Monday at this final sentencing hearing. Holmes was convicted Aug. 7 of murdering 12 people when he opened fire on a crowded movie theater in 2012.
Holmes was dressed in civilian clothes, usually a button-up shirt, throughout his four-month trial. Now that he has been convicted, he is not permitted to wear regular clothes.
The three-day hearing gives survivors a chance to share their harrowing stories with the judge, but it won’t change Holmes’ sentence. Jurors already determined Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
At least 100 victims and witnesses are expected to testify about the crime’s impact. They won’t be able to address Holmes directly but rather the judge, who must hand down sentences on 141 other counts that include attempted murder and an explosives charge.
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