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Family and friends of Colorado theater shooting victims react to verdict

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Family and friends have begun reacting to the verdict in the James Holmes Colorado theater shooting trial.

After a 15 week trial and in the third and final phase of sentencing, a jury of nine women and three men decided to give Colorado theater shooter James Holmes life in prison without parole, rejecting the death penalty.

Holmes was convicted last month of murdering 12 people and trying to murder 70 others inside a movie theater in suburban Denver three years ago. Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the third and final phase of sentencing. The decision was delivered Friday evening.

Jordan Ghawi, the brother of victim Jessica Ghawi, reacted on Twitter. He expressed that he was satisfied with the verdict, but angry that the case went to trial in the first place.

Reporters in the courtroom tweeted about the reactions from family members of victims and Holmes' parents. When the verdict was read one man stormed out, others wept. James Holmes' mother also cried, Holmes' father had his arm around her.

CBS Denver reports that Holmes smiled at his lawyers and thanked them after the trial concluded.

A juror told reporters outside court that there was a single juror who refused to give Holmes the death penalty and two others who were wavering.

The juror, who did not give her name, said after the life sentence was handed down Friday that "It's a tragedy. It's a devastating result no matter what. I am deeply, deeply sorry -- that isn't even the word."

After the verdict, Holmes' family released a statement through its attorney, Lisa J. Damiani. The statement said the family was unable to comment other than to say they are deeply sorry that victims and survivors have suffered such a tremendous loss.

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