More court documents in the Aurora theater shooting released Friday

Papers say Holmes sent burnt money with notebook

AURORA, Colo. - Documents released Friday in the theater shooting case show suspect James Holmes apparently didn't just send a notebook to his psychiatrist, but also burnt currency.

That new information comes in a document filed by the prosecution on August 14. In that motion, the prosecution argues why the items sent to a CU-Denver psychiatrist should be seen by the court.

"The notebook and the burnt currency are not ______ [blacked out]. Until and unless reviewed by this court, nobody knows what they are, or even whether they would be, in any way related to ____ [blacked out]. Based on the circumstances, it is highly unlikely that they would _____ [blacked out] or privileged in any way," the prosecution said.

The court released 57 documents on Friday that were filed by prosecutors, defense attorneys and the media. 7NEWS and other news media outlets argued in court that those documents and others that have yet to be released, such as warrants and affidavits, should be unsealed. The documents that have been released include small exhibit items like the copy of an exhibit envelope from a motions hearing and important motions such as the request that the package sent to the University of Colorado remain sealed and be turned over to the court or defense attorneys.

In one document, defense attorneys protest comments prosecutors made in court. 7NEWS has already reported that in court, prosecutors said Holmes was "denied access" to the school [CU-Denver] "after he made threats to a professor." However, the defense said a spokesperson for the school said Holmes was never banned from campus.

That prompted defense attorneys to ask that prosecutors be sanctioned for what the defense team called "prosecution's reckless disregard for the truth." The judge ruled it was not a deliberate mischaracterization by the people and the sanctions were denied by the judge.

The documents show that prosecutors wanted more information about an expert the defense is reportedly using as an advisory witness.  The defense gave the prosecution the curriculum vitae of the defense expert, however, it is blacked out in the document release so as not to reveal the person to the public.

See all of the documents released to the public since the shooting.

While some expected the new documents to shed more light on what prosecutors say led to the July 20 shooting at the Century 16 theater, most of the documents appear to be typical procedural filings.

Former University of Colorado, Denver, neuroscience graduate student James Holmes, 24, faces 152 charges in the shooting that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

Defense attorneys claim Holmes is mentally ill and sought the help of a university psychiatrist before the shooting, raising the possibility that Holmes will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

In court, prosecutors raised the prospect that Holmes was angry at the failure of a once promising academic career and stockpiled weapons, ammunition, tear gas grenades, and body armor as his research deteriorated and professors urged him to get into another profession. Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson said Holmes failed a key oral exam in June, was banned from campus and began to voluntarily withdraw from the school.

Key information in the case gleaned from previous court documents includes:

Confirmation that Holmes sent a package to CU psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. In the document, defense attorneys Daniel King and Tamara Brady described Fenton as Holmes' psychiatrist, although prosecutors have said that their doctor-patient relationship ended on June 11, weeks before the attack. The package contains a notebook that reportedly includes descriptions and drawings of an attack, but Fenton said she never saw the notebook.

Information from prosecutors that Holmes in March spoke with another student about killing people "when his life was over."

Prosecutors and defense attorneys had asked that court documents be sealed to preserve an ongoing investigation and protect Holmes' right to a fair trial. Sylvester ordered that some information in the documents that will be released have information blacked out to protect the identities of witnesses.

Documents that won't be released include an arrest affidavit, which contains information about the investigation, as well as requests for search warrants and subpoenas.

In his order, Sylvester noted that some information contained in court documents had been divulged in court and placing limits on what's released balances the public's First Amendment rights to see the court file, and prosecutors' and defense attorneys' concerns.

Holmes to submit DNA and palm print

The judge overseeing the case issued an order Tuesday allowing authorities to collect a palm print and DNA sample from Holmes.

Prosecutors argued that they needed the print from Holmes to compare it with a print found on the inside of a theater exit door, as well as a DNA sample for comparing with other evidence collected by investigators.


Victims and witnesses of the Aurora theater shooting may be allowed to go back inside the theater.

The Arapahoe County District Attorney’s office sent an email to the victims this week telling them the news, according to an exclusive report by ABC News.

“The theater remains concerned about the Victims’ and Witnesses’ well-being and is open to the possibility of potential visits to the theater,” the email read. 

It instructs victims on how to get more information about the potential visits, but there are no dates or times given.  The email said representatives of Cinemark, owners of the Century 16 theater, asked the district attorney’s office to relay the information.

Theater officials announced last week that they plan to reopen the theater in 2013.

"It will be our privilege to re-open the theater. We pledge to reconfigure the space and make the theater better than ever," said Cinemark President and CEO Tim Warner in a letter to Aurora's mayor.

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