Fox News reporter fights to protect source in story of notebook James Holmes sent to CU psychiatrist

Attorneys: source protected by shield law

DENVER - A lawyer for a Fox News reporter says she'll fight any attempt to force her to reveal her sources for a story about James Holmes, the Colorado theater shooting suspect.

In a letter made public by court officials Thursday, the reporter's lawyer also accuses Holmes' lawyers of misleading the judge about their attempts to contact Fox.

Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a theater on July 20. His lawyers want reporter Jana Winter to identify her sources for a story about a notebook Holmes sent his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado.

Holmes' lawyers say whoever told Winter about the notebook violated the judge's gag order.

Holmes' lawyers filed a court motion last week saying they were trying to contact Fox. Winter's lawyer said that's false and demanded an explanation.

The defense said "based on current attempts to communicate with Fox News, Jana Winter's employer, the defense anticipates ongoing resistance in efforts to compel Ms. Winter's attendance and testimony."

But Winter's attorneys said Fox News was never contacted in any way, shape or form by any defense attorney.

The attorneys also assert that Winter's work is protected by New York's shield law, which says a reporter's confidential sources are "absolutely privileged and testimony about those sources cannot be compelled by any governmental body regardless of the purpose for which that testimony is sought."

They say her work is also protected under Colorado's shield law because her testimony is not "directly relevant"  to the horrific crime and the defense has not exhausted other avenues for finding the information.

A hearing for Holmes scheduled for Feb. 4 has been moved to April 1.

Print this article Back to Top