Survivors of Colorado Rampage Seek the Death Penalty for James Holmes

On Thursday, 165 guilty verdicts were read and James Holmes was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 inside a Denver-area theater. Today is the third anniversary of his murderous rampage. Survivors and their loved ones smiled and hugged outside in the rain. Tom Sullivan, 60, who's 27-year-old son Alex went to the theater on his birthday and was killed by Holmes said, "As soon as we heard the first 'guilty' we knew the other dominoes were going to fall." Sullivan added "We're part of the way through this and ready for the next step."

The next steps will take place on Wednesday when the trial enters the sentencing phase. Jurors will hear a few more weeks of testimony, then decide if Holmes should be put to death by lethal injection or serve a life sentence with no possibility of parole. Sullivan was asked if he wants to see Holmes executed, and he said "Yes. Absolutely." Also outside the Arapahoe County Justice Center was Marlene Knobbe, 79, grandmother of slain college student Micayla Medek, 23. Knobbe said she was "thrilled" with the verdict. "But I'll wake up tomorrow, and he's still alive, and that's not right," she said. "I want him to die."

Thursday's unexpectedly quick verdict ended years of worrying whether a jury might buy Holmes' insanity plea. Holmes, 27, remained expressionless, hands thrust into pockets throughout the hour it took for Judge Carlos Samour to read "guilty" after all 165 charges. During the penalty phase, jurors will consider aggravating factors, such as the murder of a child, the youngest victim, six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan. Sandy Phillips lost her 24-year-old daughter, Jessica Ghawi that day. Phillips said "We're very happy that this animal, this monster, will never see the light of day."

Photo: New York Daily News

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