Colorado theater shooter being assessed for prison

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Batman’ shooter gets 12 life sentences.

DENVER – Colorado theater shooter James Holmes is being assessed at a Denver facility to determine where he should begin serving his lifelong prison sentence.On Wednesday, about three hours after a troubled television reporter murdered two of his former colleagues on live television in Virginia, a judge in Colorado sentenced James Holmes to 12 lifetime sentences for the massacre of 12 people in Aurora, plus another 3,318 years behind bars. “Get the defendant out of my courtroom,” Judge Carlos A.

CENTENNIAL (Colorado) • James Holmes was ordered out of a courtroom in shackles on Wednesday to start serving consecutive life sentences, with no possibility of parole, for shooting dead 12 people at a packed Batman movie premiere. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson says Holmes, like all inmates, will spend 30 to 60 days as the facility before being assigned to prison.

District Judge Carlos Samour, who spent two days listening to statements from victims and survivors of the 2012 mass shooting, ordered Holmes, 27, to serve 12 consecutive sentences of life in prison for each of the dead. Samour’s stern tone was “the right exclamation point at the end of this case,” District Attorney and lead prosecutor George Brauchler told reporters. “By having the case completed with no appeals, it means the victims don’t have to be continuously hearing about the case or proceedings for the next decade or decades to come,” Samour added. Samour, who was scrupulously respectful toward Holmes throughout the trial, launched into a withering condemnation of him as someone who knew right from wrong but “robbed the world of all the good these victims would have accomplished” and irreparably damaged the lives of hundreds more.

Holmes had been in the Arapahoe County jail since shortly after he opened fire on a packed movie theater on July 20, 2012, killing 12 and injuring more than 70. He also ordered maximum sentences on the remaining guilty verdicts for attempted murder returned against Holmes for the 70 other people wounded in the rampage. The litany is achingly familiar: An unstable person in the throes of a breakdown gets his hands on a pistol or an assault rifle, fires it, kills or wounds someone, or scores of someones. But they also wondered what their futures would hold without the daily routine of the trial and the comfort they found in each other’s presence. “I’m relieved that it’s over, but I don’t think it will ever be over, you know?” said Rena Medek, whose daughter Micayla was among those killed. “I always have my daughter to think about.” Kathleen Larimer only recently has been able to accept that her son, John, was murdered in the attack. He first appeared in court with bright orange hair three years ago, but during the three-month-long trial he wore a neat shirt, jacket and pants and his hair and beard were dark brown.

Because of his diagnoses with various forms of schizophrenia, he could be placed in Colorado’s corrections department’s mental illness unit in Pueblo. Before sentencing Holmes, Samour tried to reassure victims who were upset at the lack of a death penalty that Holmes’ punishment would still be severe. The judge also dismissed complaints that the trial was a waste of time, noting it gave family members and survivors an opportunity to tell the world about their ordeal.

How many times does this have to happen before we take a look at this as a country and the politicians grow some backbone and stop being lackeys of the NRA?” Their names are not forgotten in the hearts of their loved ones, who must feel the rage and despair Parker’s father expressed. As they departed the courtroom for the last time, survivors and relatives hugged and thanked prosecutors, law enforcement officers and a handful of jurors who were in the courtroom to observe. In our lifetimes, the United States has seen a president shot in the back seat of a car, a president shot as he exited a hotel, a U.S. senator shot in a hotel pantry, a civil rights leader shot on his motel balcony, and thousands upon thousands of humbler and less heralded humans – schoolchildren, theatergoers, workers – annihilated in fusillades of bullets.

Prosecutors pointed to Holmes’ elaborate planning and his refusal to divulge to anyone — family, friends, psychiatrists — that he was thinking about, and preparing for, mass murder. Holmes’ mother, Arlene, was the last to testify during his emotional sentencing hearing, saying her son feels remorse but his mental illness and medications make it hard for him to express it.

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