James Holmes Defense Calls for Sanctions Against Prosecutors in Aurora Shootings

Aug 29, 2012 3:35pm
ap james holmes ll 120725 wblog James Holmes Defense Calls for Sanctions Against Prosecutors in Aurora Shootings

James Holmes in court, July 23, 2012, with a public defender, Tamara Brady. R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post/Pool/AP Photo

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 future 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 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.”

In court documents filed last week, Arapahoe District Attorney Carol Chambers wrote that Holmes had conversations with a fellow student in March 2012 “about wanting to kill people” and that he was denied access to the school after making threats to a professor.  Chambers wrote that after Holmes was denied access to the campus, “he began a detailed and complex plan to obtain firearms, ammunition, a tear-gas grenade, body armor, a gas-mask and a ballistic helmet, which were used in the commission of the murders and the attempted murders.” (LINK)

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. Judge Sylvester will allow prosecutors access to certain pages of those records “with certain redactions of confidential information,” according to court documents.

Tomorrow, 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.

 

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