Colorado theater gunman’s mother, police relatives of dead cry at life verdict

James Holmes

The mother of Colorado theater gunman James Holmes, police officers who responded to the massacre and the relatives of those killed cried as it became clear that Holmes would be sentenced to life and spared the death penalty because jurors couldn’t agree on a sentence.

Arlene Holmes, who had pleaded for her son’s life, fell upon her husband’s shoulder and began to sob silently.

Sandy Phillips, whose daughter Jessica Ghawi was shot in the head by Holmes, shook her head “No” and then dropped it into her hands, crying.

Ashley Moser, whose 6-year-old daughter was killed, sat in her wheelchair after being paralyzed by Holmes’ bullets. She began shaking her head and lay it on the back of the wheelchair of Caleb Medley, another paralyzed victim.

Victims’ families began streaming out the court before the judge finished reading the verdicts on all of the counts and the wails of their horror and heartbreak could be heard through the door.