More Public Documents Restricted In Holmes' Case

Arapahoe County Judge Amends Court Order In Accused Movie Theater Shooter Case

The public will get fewer details about theater shooting suspect James Holmes, after Arapahoe County Judge William Sylvester ordered the University of Colorado Denver to deny release of what are normally public records about the former CU graduate student.

The judge’s order cites numerous media requests for emails from Holmes’ university email account. CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon requested access to copies of the suspect’s emails and other records related to the suspect on Monday.

CU officials notified 18th Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers about the news media’s Colorado Open Records Requests. Chambers requested the judge, who is currently overseeing Holmes’ criminal case, block CU from releasing the records.

Sullivan denied release of the records without anyone informing news outlets that the matter had wound up in court.

Holmes is accused in the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater last week that killed 12 people and injured dozens more watching the midnight premier of the “Dark Knight Rises.”

In his ruling, Sylvester wrote, “The People have not had access to the defendant’s records from the University of Colorado, but are of the belief that disclosure of such records to the media would be contrary to the public interest as it would impede an ongoing investigation.”

The order was signed on Monday, but not released until Thursday. The order is in addition to a gag-order imposed on the university staff, law-enforcement, prosecutors and the defense team, which bars them from speaking about the case.

Under the Colorado Open Records Act, his emails would be open to public inspection, since the state-run university is supported by tax dollars. Holmes, who was pursuing a doctoral degree in neuroscience, was also an employee of the university, receiving a $26,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

7NEWS and other media outlets plan to appeal the judge’s order restricting the release of public information from the university. The media outlets are citing transparency and openness of public records that are not related to the shooting investigation.

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