Judge formally sentences James Holmes to life in prison for 2012 theater attack

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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.

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.