Jury votes to keep death penalty option in James Holmes sentencing

Updated

A jury voted on Monday to keep the death penalty as an option for James Holmes, the gunman who killed 12 people at a screening of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado, three years ago.

Jurors had the option of ruling out the death penalty after hearing from defense witnesses, including Holmes’ parents, who in emotional testimony asked the jury to spare his life because he is mentally ill.

RELATED: James Holmes’ father says he didn’t know son was mentally ill

The sentencing phase now proceeds to the final phase, when jurors will decide between the death penalty and a life prison term.

The same jury rejected an insanity defense and convicted Holmes of murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 more in the attack, at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in July 2012.

The article originally appeared on NBC News.com.

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Jury votes to keep death penalty option in James Holmes sentencing

Updated