| Crime |

James Holmes Moved Out of Colorado Due to "Satan's Lake of Fire" Attack

In January, we noted that Aurora theater killer James Holmes had been transferred from San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, where he'd been housed since a move from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City.

At the time, officials said the shift was being made for security reasons — and they declined to say whether he was still in the state.

Now, however, reports reveal that Holmes is no longer being held in a Colorado prison — and the reason for his incarceration in an undisclosed facility is being directly linked to a 2015 attack on him by inmate Mark "Slim" Daniels, who apologized in a letter to our Alan Prendergast for being unable to send Holmes, who killed twelve people and injured seventy others at the Aurora Century 16 theater on July 20, 2012, to "Satan's lake of fire."

As we've reported, Holmes's incarceration has been controversial from the jump.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in late August 2015 at a hearing during which Judge Carlos Samour memorably said, "Get the defendant out of my courtroom."

The following month, Prendergast reported about suggestions that Holmes was getting special treatment floated by an inmate, who wrote the following:

Marijuana Deals Near You

"Holmes has been placed in a sixteen-man pod all by himself. He gets out of his cell two hours in the a.m. and two hours in the p.m. Whenever he is out of his cell, a guard sits in a chair in front of the pod and watches him. I thought you might be interested to know the amount of resources DOC is expending on this dude. Also, it seems there is some mollycoddling going on since most people with notorious/high-profile crimes would just be put in restrictive housing until they could be integrated into Management Control Unit status."

DOC spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson confirmed that Holmes was housed at CSP in a management-control unit — the term that's replaced phrases such as "administrative segregation" or "solitary confinement." She added that his isolation was "partly a function of the number of empty beds at CSP now," Prendergast wrote. "The facility has an operational capacity of 756 beds but currently has only 620 occupants."

Then, in October, Holmes was attacked by Daniels.

The assault caused only minor injuries to Holmes — something that Daniels regretted, as he confided in the aforementioned letter.

"I'm so sorry I couldn't wipe him out and sent [sic] him packing to Satan's lake of fire," Daniels acknowledged. "It was just impossible to do by myself with so many cops. I did get him six or seven good ones and this stupid ass case manager [name deleted] ran out of her office and and put her head in front of Holmes' cause I was about to knock him out. That's why she got socked a few times.

"Once we were on the ground I looked in his eyes and he knew he came close with his demise. He was very scared. I'm so sorry I couldn't finish him for you."

Prison documents obtained by ABC reveal details about what happened. According to the network, an officer escorting Holmes on October 8 opened a sliding gate inside the facility, unwittingly putting Holmes into close proximity to Daniels.

Here's the ABC account of the events that followed:

With the sliding gate opened and Holmes within striking distance, Daniels, according to the reports, “ran through the slider, squeezing through as it was closing toward offender Holmes … Offender Daniels began hitting offender Holmes, in and around his head, with his fist.”

The documents paint a picture of a brief but frenzied incident with officers shouting “No. Don’t do it,” while “Daniels kept swinging over the top of [one officer’s] head, still hitting offender Holmes.” The officer escorting Holmes wrote that Daniels “landed at least two blows to offender Holmes before I was able to get behind” him.

Officers struggled to pull Daniels off Holmes but eventually got him to the ground. In the process, Daniels hit a female staffer "on the left side of her face below the eye and on the top of her head,” the records say.

Prison sources who spoke to ABC continue to maintain that the incident was minor. But they say "the episode proved Holmes was in so much jeopardy that he had to be secretly transferred out of state to an undisclosed location" — and there don't appear to be any plans at present to reveal his whereabouts to the general public.

Look below to see a CBS4 piece about the attack, which debunks claims by Daniels that the guards were in on his attack against Holmes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.