CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The theater shooting trial came to an end Wednesday when the judge formally sentenced James Holmes 12 life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 3,318 years in prison to be served consecutively. It was the maximum sentence and one never seen before in Colorado.
Judge Carlos A. Samour decided to sentence the shooter to one of the longest sentences in criminal history.
“I am 100 percent sure that these are just and fair,” said Samour when talking about the sentencing for Holmes.
“He is remorseless and this is a sentence that reflects that remorselessness,” said District Attorney George Brauchler.
A jury already had given Holmes 12 life sentences without parole for the people he killed in a mass movie theater attack in July 2012. Holmes was already going to serve life in prison without parole since the jury couldn’t agree on the death penalty.
“I know some victims are disappointed that the defendant didn’t get the death penalty. But your healing is not tied to his fate,” said Samour.
The judge sentenced Holmes to 12 life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 3,318 years in prison to be served consecutively. That was the maximum sentence that could be given.
“I want to make it clear that it is the court’s intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again,” said Samour. “The intention of my sentences is that he spend every single day of the rest of his life in prison and that he be imprisoned without the possibility of parole. If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this is the case.”
Samour then said, “Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom please.”
Holmes appeared in court wearing a red prison uniform. His beard has been shaved and he was handcuffed to his waist. He and his attorney stood at the podium during the sentencing. He showed no reaction as he was led out of the courtroom.
The final victims testified in a sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon. They spoke about how the shooting has changed their lives. They were family members of victims and survivors who couldn’t speak during the trial.
Brauchler has been criticized for having rejected a plea deal only to have Holmes sentenced to the same terms. Victims who were not pushing for the death penalty came to Brauchler’s defense saying they needed the trial for closure.
“About the person who committed this, I wanted and needed to know all of that and I got that only because it went to trial,” said John Larimer’s mother Kathleen Larimer.