Carlos A. Samour Jr., who presided over Aurora theater shooting trial, chosen for Colorado Supreme Court |

Carlos A. Samour Jr., who presided over Aurora theater shooting trial, chosen for Colorado Supreme Court

Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. sits on the bench during the sentencing phase in the trial of James Holmes, at Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, August 25, 2015. Victims and their families were given the opportunity to speak about the shooting and its effects on their lives. The formal sentencing began Monday at Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)
Denver Post file photo

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday named Carlos Samour to the Colorado Supreme Court, filling a vacancy being left by Chief Justice Nancy Rice’s imminent retirement.

Samour, currently the chief judge in the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County, is best known for presiding over the Aurora theater shooting trial in 2015.

In a statement, Hickenlooper praised Samour for his impartiality and commitment to justice, saying his family fled the El Salvador when Samour was 13 because his father, also a judge, feared retaliation for finding a military official guilty.

“His home was riddled by bullets because his father chose to faithfully apply the laws of that country,” said Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

Samour was chosen from among three nominees after Rice in March announced her plans to retire at the end of June. She will have served more than four years as chief justice, nearly 20 years on the court and about 31 years total as a judge in Colorado.

Samour’s term begins July 2. He is Hickenlooper’s fifth appointment to the seven-member state Supreme Court.

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