A court filing today made by the defense team representing accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes (see it and other documents below) offers up a series of revelations. It notes that Holmes was under psychiatric care prior to the attack, provides the name of the CU Denver staffer in question, confirms that a package was sent from Holmes to that individual, and asserts that the information it contains falls under doctor-patient privilege.
The "Motion for Immediate Production of All Discovery Pertaining to Improper Disclosure of Privileged Material," dated today, asks for everything in regard to the seizure of a package sent from James Holmes to Dr. Lynne Fenton, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver as well as director of student mental health services at Aurora's Anschutz Medical Campus. In addition, the defense asks for info about a "breach of confidentiality and privilege" regarding it.
This last reference presumably nods to a leak to Fox News, which reported that a package had been found, and that it contained a notebook featuring plans and drawings about the assault on the Century 16 theater in Aurora, where twelve people were killed and dozens more wounded during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, one week ago.
Just as interesting is this passage: "The materials contained in that package include communications from Mr. Holmes to Dr. Fenton that Mr. Holmes asserts are privileged. Mr. Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected."
In other words, the defense attorneys doesn't want whatever's in that package -- and the notebook it might have contained -- to be used against their client.
The 18th Judicial District's response to this motion is firm and even snippy at times, chiding the defense for making assumptions based on media reports that are at least partly inaccurate. For instance, the document notes that Fox News stated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation took control of the package from Holmes to Fenton, which was discovered after the attack in a CU Denver mail room, but, in fact, the Aurora Police Department did so. Likewise, an NBC piece on the subject stated that two search warrants were retained after the package was found, rather than the actual number, one.
There's more, plenty more, in both of these filings -- so much, in fact, that Judge William Sylvester has ordered a hearing into the matter for 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. It should be fascinating.
Read all three documents, including Sylvester's order, here.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
More from our News archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Judge makes CU records off-limits days before doc release."