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Verdict reached in James Holmes sentencing trial

UPDATE: James Holmes sentenced to life in prison without parole.


CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have reached a verdict and have decided whether 27-year-old James Holmes will get the death penalty or life in prison for the 2012 movie theater massacre. The verdict will be read at 7 p.m. EST.

Jurors have made their decision after a 15-week trial in which they saw 2,695 pieces of evidence and heard from 306 witnesses. Last month the same jury rejected Holmes' insanity defense and convicted him of 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon in the third and final phase of sentencing. Friday morning the panel of jurors made up of nine women and three men asked to review a graphic 45-minute recording of the crime scene.

Defense attorneys objected that the gruesome images taken immediately after the massacre would be prejudicial. But Judge Carlos Samour, Jr. allowed it and said jurors would only have 50 minutes to watch the tape. He warned them not to let it prejudice their deliberations.

Emotional testimony as James Holmes sentencing nears end

Jurors were to decide whether 27-year-old Holmes should be executed for killing 12 during the 2012 assault, which also injured 70.

CBS Denver Legal Analyst Karen Steinhauser, a Denver defense attorney and former prosecutor, told CBS Denver the request for the graphic video may have indicated the jury hadn't made up their mind as of Friday morning.

"I think it means that the jury is conflicted in terms of this ultimate decision and I think it means that there is at least one person who is not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that death is the appropriate sentence and other jurors may be saying, 'You need to look at this again,'" said Steinhauser.

In closing arguments, District Attorney George Brauchler played a recording of a 911 call with gunshots and screams in the background as the victims' pictures disappeared one by one from a courtroom TV screen.

"For James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," he said. "Death."

Defense attorney Tamara Brady said that the massacre was heartbreaking, but that Holmes' schizophrenia was the sole cause.

"The death of a seriously mentally ill man is not justice, no matter how tragic the case is," she said. "Please, no more death."