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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Aurora gunman guilty of murder

Image taken from video showing James Holmes, left, listening to lead prosecutor George Brauchler
The jury rejected the claim that Holmes was legally insane

A man who killed 12 people and injured 70 others when he opened fire in a crowded Colorado cinema in 2012 has been found guilty of murder.

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James Holmes, 27, was found guilty on multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the shooting at a midnight premiere of a Batman film near Denver.

He had pleaded not guilty due to insanity – his defence said he was controlled by his schizophrenia.

Prosecutors may now seek the death penalty for the neuroscience student.

James Holmes had been studying for a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Colorado
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The panel of nine women and three men rejected the claim that Holmes was legally insane.

Holmes faced 164 charges of murder and attempted murder, as well as one count of possession of explosives.

During the 49-day trial with more than 250 witnesses, the court heard Holmes entered the cinema in Aurora where The Dark Knight Rises was being screened, armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.

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There were 400 people in the screening when Holmes, dressed head-to-toe in black body armour, entered through an emergency exit and appeared by the screen.

His victims included two servicemen, a man celebrating his 27th birthday and an aspiring broadcaster who had survived a mall shooting in Toronto. Several died shielding friends or loved ones.

The youngest to be killed was a six-year-old girl whose mother suffered a miscarriage and was paralysed in the attack.

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