A court document filed last week by attorneys for accused mass murder James Holmes–revealing he was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia–has been altered online with that key information blacked out.
In the original version of the document posted Friday, public defenders said the 24-year-old Holmes “was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton and his communications with her are protected.”
However, the Colorado state court posted a new version online Tuesday, with the section describing Holmes’ relationship to Fenton blacked out.
The change was first reported by Jeremy Meyer at the Denver Post. Messages to two court spokesmen were not immediately returned to ABC News Wednesday.
The “communications” mentioned by the defense document refer to a notebook that Holmes mailed to Dr. Fenton that was seized by police from a university mailroom on July 23 before it could be delivered to Fenton.
Sources confirmed to ABC News the notebook may contain writings about Holmes’ alleged attack. Holmes’ attorneys argue the existence and contents of the notebook have been improperly leaked to the news media. They also contend the notebook is privileged between Holmes and Fenton, and should not be allowed in his criminal case.
Making the change now may be a little like putting toothpaste back in the tube. The document was included in news reports around the world, including this one on “World News with Diane Sawyer.” And unredacted clean copies of the motion are available all over the Internet.
Prosecutors say Holmes opened fire in a crowded movie theater during a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora Colorado on July 20. Twelve people were killed, 58 were injured. On Monday, Holmes was charged with 142 criminal counts, including first degree murder, attempted murder.