Guilty Verdict in Colorado Theater Shooting Penalty Trial

Gunman James Holmes grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, northeast of downtown San Diego

Jurors in the Colorado movie massacre trial convicted gunman James Holmes of first degree murder Thursday.

Holmes has been found guilty of murder in the deaths of all 12 people killed in the attack nearly three years ago to the day.

The panel rejected the defense's argument that Holmes was not guilty by reason of insanity. The verdict makes Holmes eligible for the death penalty.

Holmes entered the theater during the midnight premier of a Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises,” on July 20, 2012. Twelve people died and 70 were injured.

Holmes, now 27, does not dispute that he was the lone gunman who attacked the theater but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His lawyers have argued that schizophrenia so warped his mind he could not tell right from wrong, and that he was in the grip of a psychotic breakdown.

Holmes grew up in Rancho Penasquitos, northeast of downtown San Diego. His parents, Arlene and Robert Holmes, attended every day of testimony in the trial.

Before the proceeding even began, they asked for a plea bargain to save their son's life.

"He is a human being gripped by a severe mental illness," they said in a statement in December. "We have always loved him, and we do not want him to be executed." 

Two years after his arrest, Holmes said he didn't care if got the death penalty but would probably fight it for his parents' sake.

"They would miss me," he said.

Jurors took about 13 hours over a day and a half to review all 165 charges. The same panel must now decide whether Holmes should pay with his life.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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