Holmes' defense alleges prosecution interference; says they won't be ready for trial
Last Updated: 135 days ago
DENVER - James Holmes' attorneys assert the prosecution is interfering with their own investigations into the movie theater shooting and failing to share evidence in a timely manner.
Because of the delays in the sharing of evidence, a process known in court as discovery, the defense says they will not be prepared for the scheduled start of the trial in February 2014.
Holmes faces 166 counts for allegedly killing 12 people and injuring 70 at a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in July 2012.
In the first of two motions for sanctions against the prosecution, Holmes' lawyers say they received 53.6 gigabytes of evidence from the FBI on June 14. The materials contain reports, expert opinions, lab files, photographs, video interviews and more.
"Much of it appears to have been provided for the first time almost a year after the events underlying the charged offenses," the defense wrote.
They go on to say, "additionally, the materials provided are not complete. The defense continues to receive additional expert reports and other information pertaining to the FBI's involvement in this case."
Some of the new discovery spawned another request from the defense. They want to bar two San Diego pawnbrokers from identifying Holmes as the man who visited their shop and expressed an interest in firearms months before the shooting.
David Casper and Kafai Suen are described as the operators of Hillcrest Pawnbrokers in San Diego. The document says they claim Holmes visited their shop in late 2011 or early 2012 and "expressed an interest in firearms."
The two men were contacted by law enforcement after their claims were reported. Suen was reportedly shown photos of Holmes and identified him as the person who had visited the pawn shop.
The filing builds defense attorneys' argument against the admissibility of this identification, asking the judge to rule in their favor and remove this issue from the table permanently.
The motion says that prosecutors "do not intend" to ask either person to identify Holmes, but the defense wrote they wanted to resolve the issue "in the event that the prosecution alters course and decides to call either of these witnesses at trial."
Another document filed Monday asks for a second round of sanctions against the prosecution. That motion alleges the state is interfering with Holmes' own investigation.
"During its investigation, the defense has learned that members of the prosecution team and/or law enforcement have asked witnesses to provide them with information about the defense's interviews with them and have suggested that if a witness spoke to the defense, that the defense would 'manipulate' or 'turn [the witness's] words around,'" the defense wrote.
Holmes' lawyers go on to argue that the "state's interference with this investigation" is impacting their ability to do their jobs.
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