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Entries in James Holmes (46)

Wednesday
Jan022013

Accused Colorado Shooter James Holmes Appears in Court

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused Aurora, Colo., theater shooter James Holmes appeared in court Wednesday, where a judge set a preliminary hearing for Jan. 7 that is expected to last several days.

Hundreds of people including witnesses, victims and families are expected to attend.

Prosecutors say part of the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing will include recordings of calls to 911 and approximately 30 hours of video from inside the Century 16 multiplex.

Holmes was in court Wednesday, his brown hair slightly grown out and now wearing a full beard.  He did not speak and sat quietly at the defense table.

Both sides told judge William Sylvester that they are ready to proceed on Jan. 7.

At a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must convince the judge there is enough evidence against Holmes to proceed to a trial.  As part of that process, law enforcement investigators are expected to testify about details of the case that have never been revealed before.

The preliminary hearing will be held in the largest courtroom available in Arapahoe County, Colorado, which holds about 100 people.  Overflow crowds will be able to watch the proceeding on a video and audio feed in several rooms around the court complex, including a jury assembly room that has space for about 300 people.

Holmes is accused of murdering 12 people and wounding 58 others when he allegedly opened fire at a midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.  His defense team believes Holmes is mentally ill.  He has not entered a plea.

The theater where the shooting occurred is set to reopen on Jan. 17.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec052012

Accused Colorado Theater Shooter Had 'Romantic Relationship' with Grad Student

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused movie theater shooter James Holmes had "a brief romantic relationship" with a graduate student at the University of Colorado, according to one of thousands of emails released to ABC News Wednesday.

The revelation came from an email written by an employee of the university, Larry Hunter, to a colleague late in the morning after Holmes is alleged to have killed 12 and wounded 58 at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

Hunter wrote to his colleague, "Yeah, he was a grad student here, and, it turns out, had a brief romantic relationship with one of the grad students in my program last fall. She, fortunately, it turns out is in India right now. She knows, and is pretty freaked out."

The rampage is considered the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Another email nearly two weeks after the shooting seemed to show growing concern from at least one student about the way the university was responding.

On Aug. 2, 2012, upon learning that Holmes' psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, had gone to a university threat assessment team about Holmes before the theater massacre, one University of Colorado student wrote an angry letter to the CU communications department. In it, she said, "This is a major failure of the system. You need to address this issue with the students. We deserve to know what's going on here."

The same day, two professors in the University of Colorado's oncology department exchanged emails about a story that noted Holmes had been referred to the threat assessment team.

Said professor Gail Eckhardt to colleague Well Messersmith, "It's really getting messy and heads are going to roll over this -- so tragic."

In July, ABC News and other news organizations filed a series of public records requests with the University of Colorado asking to see the chain of emails by or between key university officials in the days and weeks following the attack.

Soon after that request, a gag order was issued preventing the release of documents such as the one described above.

ABC News also requested to inspect any emails Holmes may have sent to professors or others related to non-personal items such as federally funded research for the university.

Last month, a judge released CU from its gag order.

Wednesday, the university made nearly 3,800 emails public, including approximately 2,300 redacted emails from university employees and an additional 1,500 from two university email accounts belonging to Holmes himself.

CU also withheld nearly 1,000 emails from university officials and nearly 1,200 emails from Holmes, telling ABC News, "There are additional e-mails not subject to disclosure because they are student records."

ABC News is in the process of sifting through the trove of emails released Wednesday. You can check back ABC News for updates.

If you have information or a tip you would like to share about the Holmes case, you can email mark.p.greenblatt@abc.com.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov162012

Judge Orders Daily Lawyer Visits for Aurora Shooter

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- A Colorado district court judge has given a handwritten order for James Holmes’ attorneys to be able to see him at least once a day “so long as he is being held at the Arapahoe County Jail.”

In a motion filed Thursday, public defenders Dan King and Tamara Brady said that they were denied access to Holmes by the undersheriff after Holmes returned to jail from a trip to the hospital.  They said that they were “extremely concerned about the well-being of their client.”

Holmes underwent medical care, law enforcement sources said, because he rammed his head against his cell wall and on the floor on several occasions in “an attempt to harm himself.”

A hearing that was supposed to happen Thursday was postponed because Holmes was not in a condition to appear.

Denver defense attorney Larry Pozner said the fact that a client has been denied access to his attorneys is “extraordinary.”

“We’re 200 years past the point when you can keep defense lawyers from seeing their clients,” Pozner said. “It’s inappropriate, it’s uncalled for and it’s out of line.”

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department would not comment as to why it wouldn’t allow Holmes’ attorneys to see him Thursday.

“I can’t talk to you about specific inmates or security issues,” said Undersheriff Dave Walcher.

Holmes’ attorneys have asked the judge to fine Walcher for his actions.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 in a theater showing of “The Dark Knight”  this summer.  The postponed hearing is set for Dec. 10 in Arapahoe County Court.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov142012

James Holmes, Accused Aurora Theater Shooter, Tried to Harm Himself, Sources Say

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Accused Aurora, Colo., theater shooter James Holmes, 24, was taken to the hospital Tuesday after he tried to harm himself by ramming his head into the wall of his jail cell, sources told ABC News.

Holmes was taken from his jail cell to a hospital for treatment and is now back in his cell, the sources said. He is able to move and talk.

In a hearing Wednesday, Holmes’ defense attorneys said their client was in no condition to appear in court Thursday but would not say why.

Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester granted a continuance and postponed the Thursday hearing until Dec. 10.

Holmes has been charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 people after he opened fire inside a movie theater July 20. He has yet to enter a plea.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct032012

James Holmes’ Attorneys Claim Gag Order Violated

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- The judge overseeing the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting case has agreed to hold a hearing over defense claims that the government has twice violated a gag order.

In the first motion filed Tuesday, public defenders for James Holmes argue that an updated mugshot of Holmes -- without the disheveled orange hair he appeared with the day he was arrested -- was improperly leaked to the media by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department. It was released on Sept. 20, the same day Holmes had gotten the new haircut.

During a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, prosecutors say a heavily-armed Holmes entered the Century 16 movie theater and opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 58. The motion, filed by public defenders Daniel King, Tamara Brady and Kristen Nelson, claims that the release of the photograph has “implicated Mr. Holmes’ constitutional rights to a fair trial, to a fair and impartial jury and due process.”

In another motion, the defense team requested a hearing regarding media leaks about a package containing a notebook Holmes mailed to Dr. Lynne Fenton, a University of Colorado psychiatrist. The notebook was seized by police from a University of Colorado mailroom on July 23. News reports citing unnamed law enforcement sources said the notebook contains writings and drawings about the movie theater attack.

An inspector with the U.S. Postal Service testified the package was mailed the day before the July 20 attack. Holmes’ legal team wants the judge to level sanctions after they say they reviewed case documents that show “the government was responsible for leaking information about the contents of the package to the media.”

The judge will take up both matters at a hearing set for Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.

Holmes’ attorneys have said in court that they believe their client is mentally ill, although he has yet to enter a plea.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep072012

James Holmes Predicted to Be a 'Leader in the Future'

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(NEW YORK) -- Newly obtained records from the University of Alabama at Birmingham show that though suspected mass murderer James Holmes was declined admission to the school, one university staffer predicted Holmes would be "a leader in the future."

The documents further reveal a perplexing disconnect between a student who appeared to have remarkable academic ability, and the 24-year-old accused of the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes is charged with opening fire July 20 inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  He has not entered a plea.

Records obtained Wednesday by ABC News from the University of Alabama showed that a letter to Holmes dated March 21, 2011, said, "We regret to inform you that you have not been recommended for admission."

One unidentified university staffer who met with Holmes for an interview wrote that he was an, "excellent applicant!  Great GPA and GRE scores."

Others were not as impressed.

"He may be extremely smart, but difficult to engage," wrote one.

Another noted: "His personality may not be as engaging as some applicants, but he is going to be a leader in the future."

College transcripts obtained Wednesday by ABC News showed that while attending the University of California Riverside, Holmes earned almost all "A" grades, graduating with "high honors" in June 2010.

In subjects including biology, chemistry, economics and Spanish, Holmes received "A+" grades that helped him earn a 3.94 GPA.

In one philosophy class taken in the winter of 2010, "Ethics and the Meaning of Life", Holmes got an "A."

According to at least one former associate, however, Holmes' apparent book smarts did not translate to real-world ability.

"He was not an exceptional mind," said John Jacobsen, a former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., where Holmes was an intern in 2006.

Jacobsen recalled giving Holmes an experiment to be conducted on a computer.  According to Jacobsen, Holmes failed.

"He was a second-rate student.  Not very good at all," Jacobsen told ABC News.

A phone call to Holmes' attorneys -- who are under a strict court-imposed gag order preventing them from talking about the case -- was not returned to ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

James Holmes Got 'A's, but Called 'Second-Rate Student'

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Newly obtained college records for suspected mass murderer James Holmes highlight a perplexing disconnect between a student who appeared to have remarkable academic ability, and the now 24-year-old accused of the most extensive mass shooting in U.S. history.

Holmes is charged with opening fire on July 20 inside an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, murdering 12 people and injuring 58 others attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.  He has not entered a plea.

College transcripts obtained Wednesday by ABC News show that while attending the University of California Riverside, Holmes earned almost all "A" grades, graduating with "high honors" in June 2010.

In subjects including biology, chemistry, economics and Spanish, Holmes received "A+" grades that helped him earn a 3.94 GPA.

In one philosophy class taken in the winter of 2010, titled "Ethics and the Meaning of Life", Holmes got an "A."

According to at least one former associate, however, Holmes' apparent book smarts did not translate to real-world ability.

"He was not an exceptional mind," said John Jacobsen, a former researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., where Holmes was an intern in 2006.

Jacobsen recalled giving Holmes an experiment to be conducted on a computer.  According to Jacobsen, Holmes failed.

"He was a second-rate student.  Not very good at all," Jacobsen told ABC News.

A phone call to Holmes' attorneys -- who are under a strict court-imposed gag order preventing them from talking about the case -- was not returned to ABC News.

In court, Holmes' public defenders repeatedly have suggested that their client is mentally ill.  Court documents reveal Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist while he was a graduate student at the University of Colorado.

Holmes' U.C. Riverside transcripts and other records were sent to ABC News and other news organizations from the University of Kansas in response to a Kansas Open Records Act request.  Holmes submitted the transcripts as part of his application to the University of Kansas PhD. program in neuroscience.

According to the application, three U.C. Riverside staffers wrote letters on Holmes' behalf, including director of student affairs Kathryn Jones and professors Khaleel Razak and Edward Korzus.  Emails and phone calls requesting comment were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

Did James Holmes Try to Call His Psychiatrist Before Shootings?

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(AURORA, Colo.) -- A mysterious early-morning phone call is emerging as a potentially significant piece of the puzzle in an ongoing legal showdown involving accused mass murderer James Holmes.

The University of Colorado Hospital Friday said an operator received a strange phone call at 12:31 a.m. on Friday, July 20.

The timing is notable because it was only about ten minutes later that police began receiving the first 911 calls about a shooting during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises at the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora, Colo.

When the switchboard operator answered the call, she said there was only silence on the other end, according to University of Colorado Hospital marketing director Brad Fixler.

“There was nothing on the other end,” Fixler told ABC News. “Nobody asked for Dr. Fenton or anyone else during the call.”

Fixler says the hospital has no way of knowing whether the caller was James Holmes.

Confirmation of the call, however, comes one day after Holmes’ public defender, Tamara Brady, suggested in court that Holmes may have tried to reach his psychiatrist just before the shooting started.

During a hearing Thursday in Centennial, Colorado, Brady questioned Dr. Lynne Fenton, the University of Colorado psychiatrist who was treating Holmes for mental illness while he was a neuroscience graduate student.

Brady read a phone number to Dr. Fenton, asking if she recognized it. Fenton said she did: she believed the number was for the University of Colorado Hospital operator.

Brady asked if the number can be used by patients to reach Dr. Fenton after hours. Fenton said yes.

“Do you know whether James Holmes called that number nine minutes before the shooting started?” Brady asked.

“I don’t know,” answered Dr. Fenton.

If it is proven that Holmes placed that call, it will be a key factor in determining if Holmes still had a confidential, or privileged, doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Fenton when the shooting took place on July 20.

Prosecutors are trying to convince a judge that Fenton’s relationship with Holmes ended on June 11, 2012.

Court documents filed by prosecutors indicate Holmes was denied access to university buildings on June 12, “after he made threats to a professor at the school” and subsequently began the process of withdrawal from his graduate program.

Fenton testified that she believes June 11 is the date that Holmes was no longer her patient.

If Judge William Sylvester agrees, he might rule that prosecutors can have access to any communications between Holmes and Fenton after June 11, including a package containing a mysterious notebook.

Holmes mailed the notebook to Dr. Fenton on July 19, prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys want to prevent anyone -- especially prosecutors -- from getting their hands on the notebook and whatever revelations if might contain about Holmes and his alleged crimes. To do that, his public defenders have to prove that Dr. Fenton and Holmes had an ongoing relationship past June 11, which would make the notebook (and any other communications) privileged and off-limits.

Revealing the July 20 phone call to the hospital, legal observers say, might be one way for Holmes’ defense team to establish that he was trying to reach out to Dr. Fenton just before allegedly opening fire inside that crowded movie theater, killing 12 and wounding 58.

Arguments over whether Holmes and Dr. Fenton had a privileged relationship were put on hold until the next hearing on Sept. 20, when the judge hopes to decide the issue.

In the meantime, on Friday a group of Aurora shooting victims and their families are meeting with officials over a dispute involving more than $5 million in public donations.

At an emotional news conference Tuesday, relatives of some of those killed on July 20 demanded a greater voice in how the money is distributed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

Iowa Graduate School Rejected James Holmes in No Uncertain Terms

RJ Sangosti-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- There was something that the University of Iowa saw in James Holmes that made educators very wary of accepting the accused Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter into their neuroscience doctoral program in January 2011.

Whatever that intangible was, the professors were adamant about rejecting Holmes' application for graduate school.

According to documents released Thursday, professor Daniel Tranel wrote an email to the University of Iowa selection committee that stated bluntly, "Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances."

Tranel's reasons for rejection were not uncovered but he apparently felt more strongly about keeping Holmes out of the program than six other applicants.

Meanwhile, professor Mark Blumberg also wrote about Holmes, "I agree with Dan.  Don’t admit."

In his letter to the school, Holmes said that he was interested in the neuroscience program because his mission was to improve people, including those with cognitive disabilities.  As it happens, Holmes was eventually treated himself for mental illness, a fact that came out following the shooting rampage on July 20 that left 12 people dead and 58 injured at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Holmes did get accepted to the University of Colorado Denver graduate school but dropped out shortly before the shooting incident because of poor grades.  His attorneys are expected to plead insanity in his defense.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug292012

James Holmes Defense Calls for Sanctions Against Prosecutors in Aurora Shootings

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office(AURORA, Colo.) -- Attorneys for James Holmes, the accused mass murderer in the July shootings in Aurora, Colorado, have filed a motion asking a judge to sanction prosecutors for “reckless disregard for the truth,” according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

The motion was filed on Aug. 27, and Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester has indicated he will set a hearing on the matter.

The contents of the motion are sealed. Its existence was revealed in an index of court activity called a “register of actions” and was first reported by the Denver Post.

While it is not known what prompted Holmes’ attorneys to file the motion, it comes only days after prosecutor Karen Pearson said in open court that Holmes made threats and was denied access to campus buildings at the University of Colorado, where he was a graduate student.

Public defender Daniel King said prosecutors were engaged in a “fishing expedition.”

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have also been arguing over about 100 pages of Holmes’ school records that were turned over to the judge by the university. New documents reveal Judge Sylvester will allow prosecutors access to certain pages of those documents “with certain redactions of confidential information,” according to court documents.

Thursday, there will be a showdown in court over communications between Holmes and his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton. Those communications include a notebook attorneys say Holmes mailed to Fenton before the shooting. It was intercepted by police and is currently in possession of the court.

Holmes’ defense team says the notebook is protected by doctor-patient confidentiality and want it returned to their client. Prosecutors argue the notebook is not privileged and want to use it as evidence.

Holmes is charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder for the attack on an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater just after midnight on July 20. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded

Defense attorneys have repeatedly said in court hearings that Holmes is mentally ill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio