- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - The mother of an Ohio native killed in a 2012 Colorado theater shooting said the anniversary of her son’s death will be a little easier now that the shooter has been convicted of murder.

Jerri Jackson, of Springfield, said her son Matt McQuinn and his girlfriend were sitting in the first row of the Aurora theater when 27-year-old James Holmes opened fire on July 20, 2012. She told the Springfield News-Sun (https://bit.ly/1KclDpY ) that McQuinn was shot nine times trying to protect his girlfriend.

“He made his momma proud,” Jackson said. “I’ve heard that in death there is a defining moment. And he thought of his loved one and he thought about protecting her before he thought about protecting himself. It makes my heart smile that that’s what he did.”

On Thursday, a jury convicted Holmes on 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges.

“Maybe now we can start healing. There’s a lot of people that need to heal and I think today’s the first day of healing,” said David Jackson, Jerri Jackson’s husband.

Both Jacksons have been on disability due to post traumatic stress disorder, they said. With the conviction, Jerri Jackson said justice had been served, in a way, and both said they will be pleased as long as Holmes can never walk the streets again.

“I would want the rest of his days to be the worst that he could imagine,” David Jackson said. “I want it to be hell on Earth. Not an easy out with a quick death sentence. I think he deserves to suffer with what he did to people.”

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Information from: Springfield News-Sun, https://www.springfieldnewssun.com

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