DENVER - Attorneys for the Aurora movie theater shooting defendant James Holmes want the judge to quash subpoenas calling for records and testimony related to his mental health. They also want to greatly increase the amount of information kept secret in the case.
James Holmes, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to a total of 166 charges, was a patient of a University of Colorado psychiatrist before the shooting and was evaluated at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo this summer as a result of his plea.
The four subpoenas were filed by the prosecution on Sept. 13 and posted to the courts online record of the case three days later. They call for Holmes' mental health records from both the University of Colorado and the hospital to be delivered to the court on Sept. 30. They also call for testimony from two people involved in Holmes' evaluation in Pueblo, but the names of those practitioners are blacked out.
In the motion to quash, defense attorneys argue the subpoenas seek "privileged information that is not subject to the waiver provisions of the insanity statute."
Another defense motion requests permission to file future motions relating to the sanity evaluation Holmes underwent at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. They did not indicate what the future motions could include.
The third notable defense document published Thursday argues that the court shouldn't be publishing any of the case documents online or allowing the public access to the transcripts from case hearings.
"Such procedures are necessary to protect Mr. Holmes' rights to due process and a fair trial by an impartial jury," defense attorneys wrote.
Citing precedents from the United States Supreme Court and Colorado Supreme Court, the defense argues the judge is not required to provide access to court records. They seem particularly concerned about the media's access.
"While the media will no doubt continue to attend the proceedings, allowing the press to have access to the physical transcripts of these proceedings in the digital age will exponentially increase the public's ability to access detailed information about what took place, as the press can and undoubtedly will publish links to these transcripts online," the defense wrote.
The court already has a gag-order related to this case and the judge has allowed certain specific motions to be kept confidential based on advance requests from the attorneys.