Since December 2012, our Melanie Asmar has been reporting about efforts by attorneys representing accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes aimed at compelling Fox News reporter Jana Winter to reveal her sources regarding a story about a notebook Holmes allegedly sent to psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. Winter cited law-enforcement sources as saying that the notebook contained stick-figure drawings of a gun-wielding killer.
Now, however, Winter is off the hook. A New York court had earlier held that the state's shield law meant she wouldn't have to testify. Holmes's legal team appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices have declined to take the case.
Here's how Asmar recapped developments in a March post:
Winter wrote a story on July 25, 2012 -- five days after the theater shooting -- that quoted unnamed law enforcement sources as saying that Holmes mailed a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people" to University of Colorado psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton. Holmes's defense attorneys subsequently subpoenaed Winter in an attempt to learn the identity of those sources. Fox News vowed to "vigorously defend" Winter -- and has done so. In an affidavit, Winters detailed how the subpoena had affected her personally and professionally, noting that the situation has caused her more fear than the times that she had a gun pointed at her head and was chased with a chainsaw.
James Holmes and defense attorney Daniel King in court in June 2013.
Andy Cross/Denver Post
The case impacted Winter in other ways, too. In August 2013, for example, she flew across the country for a one-minute court hearing at which she was ordered to return to Colorado in September.
After the New York court's March ruling, Fox News essentially declared victory, as can be seen in the video below. Now, however, the Supreme Court has eliminated the last chance Winter could be forced to divulge details about her sources by denying a petition for certiorari. As you can see by the document also included here, the justices did so in a single line along with a number of other cases they've chosen not to hear -- meaning that the lower-court rulings in each will stand.
Here's the video and document.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive circa August 2013: "Shortest court session ever? Jana Winter of Fox News travels cross country for 1 minute hearing."