Monday Marks Third Anniversary of Movie Theater Shooting in Aurora, Colorado

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From left: Shooting victim Caleb Medley leaves the Arapahoe County Justice Center after a verdict was delivered in the trial of James Holmes on July 16. July 20 marks the third anniversary of the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Theo Stroomer/Getty

A prayer vigil Monday evening will mark the third anniversary of the fatal movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman killed 12 Americans and injured 70 more on July 20, 2012.

This year, the community remembers the lives lost just four days after a jury found the attacker, James Holmes, guilty of all 165 charges. The 27-year-old man entered a movie theater and fired upon a crowded midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He was found guilty of first degree murder, attempted murder and explosives offenses.

Defense lawyers argued that Holmes was insane when he opened fire at 12:15 a.m. on July 20, and should be sent to a state mental hospital indefinitely. Prosecutors say he was sane, and are seeking the death penalty.

The case, which has been in the works for three years, returns Wednesday for the sentencing phase. The jurors must decide whether to give Holmes life in prison without the option of parole or a death sentence.

A memorial consisting of 12 crosses, hearts and teddy bears representative of each victim killed in the attack was set up near Aurora's Century Theater in the early morning hours on Monday. A vigil will be held in front of the Aurora Municipal Building at 7 p.m. local time.

Monday Marks Third Anniversary of Movie Theater Shooting in Aurora, Colorado | U.S.