CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Twelve jurors failed to agree on a death sentence for Colorado theater shooter James Holmes on Friday, prompting shocked sobs from victims, police officers and his own mother. The former neuroscience graduate student will instead spend the rest of his life in prison for mass murder.
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - A Colorado jury sentenced movie rampage gunman James Holmes to life in prison on Friday, rejecting the death penalty for the 27-year-old who entered a midnight showing of a Batman movie wearing a gas mask, helmet and body armor and shot dead a dozen people. After warning members of the public in the gallery against making any emotional outbursts, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour began reading the verdict forms. On each count, he read, the panel had been unable to agree that Holmes should be executed by lethal injection, and that they understood that as a result, the court will impose a sentence of life imprisonment.
Hundreds of people forced to flee California's fiercest wildfire were allowed to return home on Friday, with firefighters gaining greater control over the blaze even as lightning strikes threatened to spark other fires in the drought-parched state. North of Napa Valley wine country, firefighters this week have made steady progress in the battle against the so-called Rocky Fire, which has destroyed 96 homes and outbuildings to rank as California's most intense ongoing blaze.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker had an email sent to his Republican supporters falsely claiming he had been caught having sex with a male prostitute, apparently believing such a smear campaign would help distract attention from an alleged extramarital affair between him and another lawmaker, a newspaper reported Friday.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The blunt prosecutor overseeing the murder case against a University of Cincinnati police officer has expressed outrage over the shooting, but some say his scathing comments could jeopardize the officer's right to a fair trial and have antagonized police.
By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several Planned Parenthood officials and three private bio-medical firms were targeted on Friday by a U.S. congressional panel as lawmakers dig deeper into a controversy swirling around the women's health organization. A U.S. House of Representatives committee made public a letter requesting interviews with personnel from the organization who appeared in surreptitiously recorded videos in discussions about providing fetal tissue for research. House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans also said they had written to three companies identified as human fetal tissue suppliers to request information and briefings.