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Colorado Theater Shooter Formally Sentenced to Life in Prison

Crime
FOR USE AS DESIRED, YEAR END PHOTOS - FILE - In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, and facing additional counts of aggravated assault and weapons violations stemming from a mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured dozens of others. Credit: AP

Colorado theater shooter James Holmes has been formally sentenced to life in prison.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. had no other option after a split jury decided the sentence earlier this month. A death sentence required a unanimous jury verdict.

In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Nearly six months after a bloody rampage in a Colorado movie theater left 12 people dead, prosecutors will go to court Monday Jan. 7, 2013 to outline their case against the suspect, James Holmes. (Credit: AP) In this July 23, 2012 file photo, James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colo. Nearly six months after a bloody rampage in a Colorado movie theater left 12 people dead, prosecutors will go to court Monday Jan. 7, 2013 to outline their case against the suspect, James Holmes. (Credit: AP)

Samour sentenced Holmes Wednesday after two days of testimony from about 100 survivors of the 2012 massacre. Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 by firing upon a midnight movie showing of a Batman film.

His attorneys argued that Holmes, who had just dropped out of a prestigious graduate neuroscience program, was gripped by a psychotic episode when he opened fire.

Prosecutors emphasized Holmes' elaborate planning for the attack. He stockpiled guns and ammunition and methodically mapped out the Aurora theater complex to determine which auditorium would allow for the most casualties.

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