The Latest: Colorado theater jury to hear from families

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Posted: Aug 03, 2015 5:07 PM
The Latest: Colorado theater jury to hear from families

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial (all times local):

3:06 p.m.

Jurors who kept the death penalty as an option for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes are expected to start hearing testimony from victims' relatives in the last phase of Holmes' sentencing hearing.

Families will start testifying Tuesday about the impact of the 2012 attack on their lives. Jurors will then decide if Holmes should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

The mother of Jessica Ghawi (GOW'-ee), an aspiring sports broadcaster killed by Holmes, said she was feeling a little overwhelmed about taking the stand. But Sandy Phillips said it's her job to share her daughter's story and vowed to do the best she could.

Phillips attended much of the trial wearing her daughter's emerald-green scarf. She and her husband, Lonnie, have lobbied for stronger gun-control laws.

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2:13 p.m.

A man wounded in the Colorado theater shooting says he was pleased with the jury's decision to keep the death penalty as an option for gunman James Holmes.

Joshua Nowlan says he believes that execution would be the right outcome but that he also would accept a sentence of life in prison for Holmes, who killed 12 and injured 70 others in the 2012 attack.

Nowlan, who described himself as very religious, says that he's eager to get on with his life and that the victims will soon have the closure they deserve.

During the trial, he used the cane he walks with since the shooting as a prop to show how Holmes used an assault rifle to spray gunfire into the crowd.

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1:30 p.m.

There were tears on both sides of court as the judge in the Colorado theater shooting trial read the jury's latest findings, which keep the death penalty an option for gunman James Holmes.

Holmes' parents, Robert and Arlene Holmes, held hands and kept their eyes on the floor while the judge announced the series of verdicts rejecting an immediate sentence of life in prison. Arlene Holmes began to cry, and Robert held out a box of tissues for her.

On the other side of the gallery, Rena Medek began silently sobbing when Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. read the name of her 23-year-old daughter, Micayla, one of Holmes' victims.

Ian Sullivan, the father of Holmes' youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, closed his eyes when Samour read her name. Ian's father, Robert Sullivan, glared at Holmes and nodded his head softly.

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1:15 p.m.

Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial are being sent home for the day after declining to rule out the death penalty for James Holmes.

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. reminded jurors on Monday to stay away from news reports about the case and the recent theater shooting in Louisiana. He told them to report back to court at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Earlier, jurors said that Holmes' lawyers had not presented a strong enough case to eliminate execution as an option. They deliberated for less than three hours.

The decision clears the way for another round of arguments before the jury makes a final decision between capital punishment and life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors will call victims to testify about the impact of Holmes' crimes on their lives.

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12:40 p.m.

The jury in the Colorado theater shooting trial has again declined to rule out the death penalty as it moves toward sentencing James Holmes.

Jurors said Monday that Holmes' lawyers haven't presented a strong enough case to eliminate execution as an option.

The decision clears the way for another round of arguments before the jury makes a final decision between capital punishment and life in prison without parole. Prosecutors will call victims to testify about the impact of Holmes' crimes on their lives.

Judge Carlos A. Samour, Jr. reminded jurors to stay away from news reports about the case and the theater shooting in Louisiana until they report back at 10 a.m. Tuesday

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12:12 p.m.

Some of the families of the 12 people killed in the Colorado theater shooting are arriving in court to hear whether jurors will keep the death penalty on the table for gunman James Holmes.

After fewer than three hours of deliberations, jurors reached a decision Monday about whether Holmes should continue to face the possibility of execution or be sentenced to life in prison.

Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex was killed while celebrating his 27th birthday, said, "This is a good day" as he entered the courthouse in suburban Denver.

The decision will be announced at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday after Holmes' parents made an emotional plea to spare his life because he is mentally ill. The jury took Friday off and resumed deliberations Monday.

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10:40 a.m.

Jurors have reached a decision on whether to keep the death penalty as an option for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes.

A court spokesman said the decision would be announced at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday after Holmes' parents made an emotional plea for mercy because he is mentally ill. The jury took Friday off and resumed deliberations Monday.

The nine women and three men were asked to decide whether Holmes' mental illness and other circumstances mean he should be sentenced to life in prison instead of death for the 2012 attack that left 12 people dead and 70 injured.