James Holmes was automatically sentenced to life in prison for killing Roneccia Luster, 44, who was seated in her car using a drive-thru ATM in the 3100 block of South Perkins near Knight Arnold.
In the Criminal Court trial this week, Holmes’ own mother testified that he confessed to her that he shot and killed the woman around 7 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2012.
A codefendant, Bishardo Higgs, 21, testified that he was with Holmes that evening and that he saw Holmes shoot Roneccia Luster. Higgs has not been tried yet.
The shooting was captured on surveillance video that was shown to the jury. Also, Holmes’ DNA was found on the murder weapon that he discarded while fleeing from the scene.
After the shooting, the two defendants tried to carjack a man who was coming to aid the victim. The man was shot twice, but survived his wounds.
Jurors convicted Holmes on all counts, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, attempted especially aggravated robbery and attempted carjacking.
Holmes received an automatic life sentence for the murder and will be sentenced on the other crimes in December by Judge W. Mark Ward.
The case was handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) Prosecution Team, and by Reginald Henderson, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Special Prosecution Unit (SPU) which seeks the maximum sentence allowed by law for repeat felony offenders.
MGU handles homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members and special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.
The prosecution team works daily with the MGU Operations team, using local ordinances and state and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.
About half of the unit’s caseload involves of homicides, with the rest involving violent crimes such as aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, attempted murders and narcotics cases.