For families of victims who have spent the past four months following the trial, this marks the end of a long process.
Victim advocates then collected dozens of colorful tissue boxes scattered about the courtroom floor and loaded them into a brown box.
“We tend to like simple answers, but maybe it’s not so simple”, Samour said.
However, prosecutors disputed this, pointing to the meticulous planning that went into the crime. They signed the pole and gave it to John Larimer’s father.
The gallery crowd applauded at the judge’s remark.
Holmes’ defense lawyers said they had no plans to appeal. But it couldn’t unanimously agree on the death penalty, meaning Holmes automatically was sentenced to life in prison.
Nearly 100 people testified or read victim statements. “If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this is the case”, he said.
James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado on June 4, 2013. A death sentence required a unanimous jury verdict.
In July 2012, Holmes, dressed in a helmet, gas mask and ballistic gear, tossed tear gas into Theater 9 of the Century 16 megaplex in Aurora during the first minutes of the midnight show of “The Dark Knight Rises“.
Holmes told a court-appointed psychiatrist that he attacked the theater to improve his self worth, and that he expected people would remember his name.
Holmes stockpiled guns and ammunition and mapped out the Aurora theatre complex to determine which auditorium would allow for the most casualties.
Earlier this month, outrage erupted when jury deliberations ended with one juror refusing to sentence Holmes to death.
The judge said no words could adequately capture the continuing horror from Holmes “evil” act that killed 12 people and injured 70.
“I believe in the system”. The additional 3,318 years came from the 70 convictions of attempted murder and the single explosives charge.
He is not going to a “four-star hotel”, he said.
And he noted the trial was fair, even if some victims were disappointed that Holmes didn’t get the death penalty.
Holmes’ sentencing hearing was largely symbolic but gave scores of victims an unprecedented chance to vent their feelings to the judge.
He surrendered meekly outside the theater after the July 20, 2012, attack and eventually pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.