AURORA, Colo. - A judge refused to play word games with prosecutors, but said they were actually exceeding the requirements for organizing evidence in the theater shooting case and sharing it with James Holmes' defense.
The prosecution had asked for a clarification about what the court meant by the word "files," in an order pertaining to the case evidence.
"Because the Court does not believe that any clarification of its Order is necessary, the request for clarification is denied," Judge Carolos Samour wrote, in a filing released Thursday.
Samour's order came in response to a prosecution pleading, designated P-39, which was filed on Tuesday. The prosecution was asking for clarification and offering objections to an order Samour issued in court: that the prosecution certify in writing that the District Attorney's Office comb through all the "files" of every agency involved in the investigation to confirm that the defense gets everything they have a legal right to get in the discovery phase.
The prosecution suggested the court doesn't have the authority under Colorado law to require them to read, listen or watch all of the evidence to compare it to the copies provided to the Defense in discovery. They said that would require them to review more than 436 optical storage disks of various formats.
Judge Samour responded, "The Court did not anticipate that the People would interpret its Order so literally. In issuing the April 10 Order, the Court simply attempted to ensure the people's compliance with their discovery responsibilities."
"Lastly, because the Court believes that through their 13-page brief the People have complied with, and have actually exceeded, the Court's discovery certification requirement, the objection is overruled as moot," Samour wrote.
The prosecution's document explained that the evidence procedures being followed in this case include digital management tools for documents and recordings. An Aurora Police Department detective is assigned full-time to manage those tools and create spreadsheet receipts of everything entered; the first time that department has assigned someone full-time to evidence management in a case.
Holmes is accused of opening fire with multiple weapons inside a crowded movie theater on July 20 during a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." Twelve people were killed, 58 were wounded and 12 others were hurt escaping the theater.
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