| Crime |

James Holmes Transferred Again: State Won't Say If He's Still in Colorado

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The Colorado Department of Corrections is confirming that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes has been moved from San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, where he'd been housed since a transfer from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City.

What officials aren't saying is where Holmes is now, reportedly due to security concerns — but it could be out of state.

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

"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 another inmate, Mark "Slim" Daniels. 

The assault caused only minor injuries to Holmes — something that Daniels regretted, as he noted in a letter to Prendergast.

"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."

The possibility of another prisoner taking it upon himself to complete the task is almost certainly a factor in the last transfer

This week, Jacobson told the Colorado Springs Gazette that Holmes's shift to another prison conformed with what the paper referred to as "the interstate compact agreement, which transfers offenders between states to provide suitable confinement, treatment and rehabilitation to help lower the recidivism rate."

That doesn't mean Holmes is definitely out of Colorado. Jacobson declined to say one way or the other — and even his victims are in the dark about his present whereabouts. District Attorney George Brauchler tells CBS4 they received an e-mail about the transfer, but no additional information.

“The system is set up to be so secretive on the back end, where the only focus seems to be the preservation of this guy’s life above and beyond any concerns of the community and the victims," Brauchler allows. "Is this a guy who is going to be potentially incarcerated in one of their states, and is it possible he could escape into one of the states where a victim lives? That’s a concern.”

Of course, it's extraordinarily unlikely that Holmes could get away no matter where he's currently imprisoned.

But the secrecy surrounding his location demonstrates that his infamy continues to linger, as does the pain he caused the friends, family and loved ones of the twelve people he killed and seventy he injured at the Aurora Century 16 on July 20, 2012.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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.