Sunday, December 17, 2017

Files offer glimpse into Colorado shooting suspect

DENVER — Two months after a gunman killed 12 people inside a Colorado movie theater, a heavily redacted trove of legal documents in the case was unsealed Friday, offering a few new details — including allegations by prosecutors that the defendant made a threat toward his psychiatrist several weeks before the shooting.

The defendant, James Holmes, had been a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado at Denver, but he had struggled and was in the process of dropping out of the program by June, about six weeks before the July 20 shootings.

The legal case against Holmes, 24, has proceeded with a high degree of secrecy. The judge in the case, William Sylvester, opened the files over the objections of prosecutors and defense lawyers, but he agreed to leave documents such as affidavits and warrants under wraps. He allowed heavy redactions of motions and documents, meaning that entire pages of the case files are blacked out.

In June, Holmes met with a university psychiatrist, Lynne Fenton, who contacted the campus police after their meeting.

The files released Friday show that, in a July 27 motion, prosecutors alleged that Holmes had "made threats directed towards" a person with whom he had a doctor-patient relationship, but the name of that person has been blacked out by the court.

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