James Holmes gets 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years more for Aurora movie theater shooting

Jury couldn't agree on death penalty during trial

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - Jurors sentenced the convicted movie theater gunman to 12 life sentences for the murders committed on July 20, 2012 and now the judge has also sentenced the shooter to thousands of additional years for the attempted murders of 70 others.

At 48 years per victim of first degree attempted murder, and because the sentences must be served consecutively, James Holmes is being sent to prison for over 3,000 years. He was also sentenced to 32 years for each of the victims of second degree attempted murder and another six years for the incendiary booby-traps set up in the killer's apartment. 

The total of 3,318 years, in addition to the 12 life sentences, is the maximum sentence allowed under Colorado law.

"I am 100 percent sure that this is just and fair," District Court Judge Carlos Samour said. 

During the final sentencing hearing, which started Monday, witnesses, survivors and family members were given unrestricted permission to speak in open court about the crime and how it affected them. Many asked District Court Judge Carlos Samour to hand down the maximum sentence.

"I do hope that the maximum penalty will be imposed against James Eagan Holmes for the crimes he committed against humanity," said Carli Richards, who was wounded in the shooting.

"The defendant deserves the maximum sentence that the rule of law allows," said Dave Hoover, uncle to murder victim AJ Boik.

Judge Samour clearly agreed, saying, "The anguish experienced by the victims was caused by some of the most horrific, unthinkable, unspeakable, heinous, cowardly acts."

Samour also said, "In the end, what the defendant did is unacceptable. And the community, through the jury, said he must be fully accountable to the law."

Public defender Dan King announced in his final statement on Tuesday that the defense would not be seeking an appeal of the verdict in this case. Because of that, Samour said the trial has probably saved money for the state and anguish for the victims."

"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 said.

7NEWS checked Tuesday afternoon, but neither the Arapahoe County Jail nor the Department of Corrections could confirm when the killer would be moved into the prison system. 

Samour dismissed the defendant to his fate saying, "Get the defendant out of my courtroom, please."

Caren Teves, mother of victim Alex Teves said, "The trial is over and that thing will never see the light of day again."

"He's going to die in prison and for us, that's enough," said Lonnie Phillips, stepfather of victim Jessica Ghawi.

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