New theater shooting documents reveal alleged threat made by suspect
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The court released pages of new information Friday in the case against theater shooting suspect James Holmes.
School records, text messages and a threat that Holmes allegedly made against a professor at CU-Denver are all included in that paperwork.
Some documents also shed light on what the suspect’s lawyers are planning for a defense.
Holmes faces more than 150 charges for allegedly opening fire in the crowded movie theater July 20.
The just-released documents are giving new details about Holmes in the months leading up the massacre. FOX31 Denver’s Dave Young reports the mountain of documents provide clarification on previously known information as well as some new insight into what was going on behind the scenes.
Most of this information has been sealed by the court until now.
In the documents, the district attorney claims threats Holmes made against a professor prompted the University of Colorado – Denver to ban him from the campus. A CU spokeswoman has denied the claim.
“The defense argued the prosecution lied when she said James Holmes was banned from the Anschutz campus, the judge said maybe it is an exaggeration but it’s not a big deal,” says former Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney and legal analyst Craig Silverman.
We also learn for the first time Holmes’ lawyers have hired a psychiatric expert as an advisory witness.
Defense attorney Dan Recht says that witness could provide crucial testimony. “The defense has the psychiatrist there to view Mr. Holmes to see how he’s reacting and to help him evaluate Mr. Holmes for competency and sanity.”
“The mental health of their client is going to be THE issue in this case,” Silverman says.
What’s in the package Holmes sent to his CU psychiatrist before the shooting could be key to that mental state. We learn from the documents that police glimpsed at a notebook Holmes sent, before sealing it all up.
“They did not read what was in that notebook why? Because they knew it might be an appellate issue and they are proceeding with caution,” says Silverman.
The documents also mention texts indicating Holmes had become increasingly angry that he was failing in the neuro science program. While defense motions appear aimed at establishing an appeal to overturn a death penalty conviction.
“Eventually they’re going to go to the prosecutor and say look we have this issue that issue wouldn’t you be better off with a guilty plea?” Silverman says.
If that happened it would keep Holmes, who is accused of murdering 12 people and injuring another 58, out of the death chamber.
Some of the most crucial documents in the case remain sealed. Those include the arrest affidavit and search warrants. Those contain lots of key information like what drove the suspect to allegedly commit the attack.