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First Court Hearing Held For Alleged CO Movie Theater Shooter

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James Eagan Holmes has been formally sentenced by a Colorado judge, to multiple life terms plus thousands of years in prison for the Aurora movie theater massacre that killed 12 and wounded 70.  Holmes, a 27-year-old former grad student, received one life term for each person he killed, as well as 3,318 years for the attempted murders of those he wounded and for setting explosive traps at his apartment.

Holmes is not eligible for parole.  Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said after imposing the sentence Wednesday

“It is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again. If there was ever a case that warranted a maximum sentence, this is the case. The defendant does not deserve any sympathy. Sheriff get the defendant out of my courtroom please.”

There was a massive applause as Holmes, was led away from the courtroom where he has spent most of his days since jury selection began in January.  According to prosecutor George Brauchler, the sentence was the fourth longest in U.S. history.

Brauchler described the judge’s command to quickly remove Holmes from the courtroom as “the right exclamation point” to bring a painful and difficult trial to a close.  While wearing a helmet, gas mask and ballistic gear, Holmes tossed tear gas into Theater 9 of the Century 16 megaplex in Aurora during the first minutes of the midnight show of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Armed with a shotgun, a rifle, a pistol, and 700 rounds of ammunition he opened fire on July 20, 2012. Only after his gun jammed did Holmes walk out of the theater and surrender.


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