The man who unleashed a murderous attack on a packed Colorado movie theater was ordered Wednesday to serve life in prison without parole plus 3,318 years — the maximum allowed by law — before the judge told deputies, “Get the defendant out of my courtroom, please.”
The gallery applauded the remark by Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. as he gaveled the hearing to a close, ending a grueling three-year wait to see the gunman brought to justice. Survivors, relatives and a handful of jurors who were in the courtroom cheered and then hugged prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Some wiped away tears.
Samour ordered 28-year-old James Holmes to serve 12 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, one for each of the people he killed in the July 20, 2012, attack on a crowded movie theater.
He then added another 3,312 years for 70 convictions of attempted murder, and six years for an explosives charge.
“The defendant does not deserve any sympathy,” the judge said. “And for that reason, the court imposes the maximum sentence it can impose under the law.”
Samour handed down the sentences after a withering condemnation of Holmes as an angry quitter who gave up on life and turned his hatred into murder and mayhem against innocent victims and hundreds of their family members.
Samour was scrupulously respectful toward Holmes throughout the long trial and months of pretrial hearings. But on the final day in court, he made no attempt to hide his contempt.