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aurora massacre

'Batman' cinema killer James Holmes jeered and slammed with 3,318-year sentence

“Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom.”

James Holmes Formal Sentencing for the Aurora Theater Shooting James Holmes is taken from the courtroom yesterday. AP AP

THE THREE-YEAR trial of Colorado cinema shooter James Holmes finally ended yesterday, with the 27-year-old being jeered in court and handed a symbolic sentence of thousands of years by a clearly disgusted judge.

Judge Carlos A. Samour sentenced him to the maximum — 12 consecutive life terms without parole plus 3,318 years — then made a final, contemptuous order:

Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom, please.

Samour described the gifted former neuroscience student as an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent strangers.

It is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again… If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this is the case.
The defendant does not deserve any sympathy.

James Holmes Formal Sentencing for the Aurora Theater Shooting James Holmes (R) with his lawyer Daniel King in court yesterday. ASSOCIATED PRESS ASSOCIATED PRESS

Survivors and victims’ family members in the gallery cheered, and someone shouted “Loser!” as deputies took Holmes away.

The long, gruelling trial came to its formal conclusion three years and 37 days after Holmes murdered 12 people and tried to kill 70 more during a screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Samour, who was scrupulously respectful toward Holmes throughout the trial, launched 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.”

It is almost impossible to comprehend how a human being is capable of such acts.

7 NEWS - The Denver Channel / YouTube

Outside the courthouse, prosecutors and victims broke into smiles and even cracked a few jokes, their relief obvious. 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.

Samour was required to give Holmes life without parole, rather than the death penalty, after a split jury decided the sentence earlier this month.

Prosecutors have said 11 jurors favoured death and one voted for life without parole. Under Colorado law, jurors must be unanimous to impose the death penalty.

Sandy Phillips, Lonnie Phillips Victims' loved ones embrace each other after the sentencing of James Holmes yesterday. AP AP

The 3,318 additional years were for his convictions for attempted murder and an explosives count.

Colorado court system spokesman Rob McCallum could not say whether the sentence was a record for the state, but he said it was the longest he was aware of.

Colorado prisons officials will determine where Holmes will be incarcerated after an evaluation that includes his mental health.

Holmes, who has been diagnosed with varying forms of schizophrenia, could wind up in the corrections department’s mental hospital in Pueblo.

He also could be transferred to prison outside Colorado.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: ‘Batman’ cinema shooter James Holmes spared death penalty>

Read: “Airport or movie theatre” – The chilling diary of the ‘Batman’ cinema killer>

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