Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes' hearing Monday to focus on mental evaluation
Last Updated: 67 days ago
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Carrying a sealed envelope containing the mental health records of James Holmes, a lawyer for the theater shooting defendant's former university was allowed to leave the courtroom.
The University of Colorado records were subpoenaed by the prosecution along with records and two clinicians from Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP). Holmes was sent to that institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to 166 charges.
Monday's hearing was the first appearance by Holmes since that evaluation, and he looked markedly different. He was clean shaven and had shorter hair that was slicked back.
Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in an Aurora movie theater in July 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
District Court Judge Carlos Samour will decide on the subpoenas during the coming week. If they all stand, the lawyers will be required to returns with the records and clinicians on Monday.
The defense objected to the subpoenas, as did the Attorney General on behalf of CMHIP.
Lawyers for CMHIP were in court but carried no visible envelopes of documents. The attorneys spoke only briefly, clarifying they did not object to delivering records but did not want the clinicians involved in Holmes evaluation to appear.
The judge agreed to allow the defense to file motions on Holmes' sanity evaluation even though deadline has passed.
-- Potential witnesses --
Also discussed in court Monday was the defense request for a "good faith witness list" from the prosecution.
Without getting it soon, Defense attorney Dan King suggested the defense could not be prepared for the scheduled trial start in February.
"If we want this trial to go in February, something has got to give," King said.
The prosecution argued that the existing deadline in January was sufficient, arguing there is no law requiring the list at this time. They also argued to delay providing a number of expected witnesses without names.
-- Jana Winter's subpoena --
Judge Samour also ruled to continue the subpoena seeking the names of sources that provided information to Fox News reporter Jana Winter.
Citing unidentified law officers, Winter reported Holmes sent a notebook containing violent drawings to a psychiatrist.
Holmes' attorneys say the officers violated a gag order and should be punished. They also say officers might have lied when they denied being Winter's sources, undermining their credibility as trial witnesses.
Winter could be jailed if she refuses a court order to reveal the names.
Winter does not have to return to court until January, but Samour was clear to say she would be required to bring documents with her at that time.
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