Prosecutors argued for access to about 100 pages of school records for James Holmes, the man accused of a shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 people dead and dozens injured.
Holmes was in court in Centennial, Colorado, today as Karen Pearson, an assistant district attorney for Arapahoe County, said prosecutors should see the records from the University of Colorado Denver because the school revoked his privileges after he made threats to people. She also said Holmes failed an oral exam on June 7, six weeks before the shooting.
Holmes allegedly opened fire on the audience at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora on July 20, killing 12 and injuring at least 58. Holmes sat silently at the defense table today, his hands chained to his waist, while his attorney Daniel King accused prosecutors of going on a “fishing expedition” in search of a motive for the attack.
“It’s irrelevant what the motive is,” King told Judge William Sylvester. King also asked why the prosecutors needed full access to the records if they knew so much about his client already. A representative of the university, where Holmes was a graduate student in neuroscience, delivered the educational records to the court last week.
Holmes is charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. First-degree murder is punishable by death or life in prison under Colorado law.
Sylvester, who didn’t rule on whether he or prosecutors can fully review the documents, has also scheduled an Aug. 30 hearing to discuss whether Holmes’s correspondence with psychiatrist Lynne Fenton was privileged. Defense lawyers have said Holmes saw Fenton, medical director of the student mental health service at the university, according to court papers.
The case is People v. Holmes, 12-cr-01522, 18th Judicial District Court, Colorado (Centennial).
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Kass in Colorado District Court in Centennial at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at email@example.com