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By The Associated Press

Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have refused to rule out the death penalty for James Holmes in the first phase of sentencing.

The jury said Thursday that they agree with prosecutors that Holmes' crimes were heinous enough to warrant execution.

Now, Holmes' attorneys will argue that life in prison without parole is an appropriate sentence despite those crimes.

Jurors convicted Holmes last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

Holmes' lawyers are expected to focus on his severe mental illness and could call his parents, a college roommate and former neighbors to testify.