CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The jury in the Aurora theater shooting trial has just decided to move forward to the third phase of the sentencing process.
The jury has just informed Judge Carlos Samour Jr. it has decided the mitigating factors do not outweigh the aggravating factors in the case against convicted gunman James Holmes. That means it is still a possibility that Holmes can be sentenced to death.
The jury convicted him on all 165 counts on July 16 for the mass shooting in July 2012.
In the third phase of the sentencing victims of the deadly shooting will testify. After that testimony, the jury will again deliberate and decide if Holmes will be sentenced to death or life in prison.
During the sentencing’s second phase the defense argued mental illness caused the shooting.
“Had he not been inflicted with a disease that attacked his brain, he never would have dyed his hair orange, never would have purchased all of those guns and all of that ammunition and this heartbreaking tragedy would never have occurred,” public defender Tamara Brady said during closing arguments on Thursday.
Brady told the jurors the mental illness was only made worse by medication.
The defense team also played a video clip of Holmes with a psychiatrist in an effort to show the act was not done for notoriety. In the clip, which came from an interview after the crime, Holmes said he didn’t remember a reason for committing the mass murder.
Throughout its closing arguments the prosecution reminded the jurors of the faces of the 12 people who died.