Colo. psychiatrist knew of danger
DENVER — A psychiatrist who treated James Holmes told campus police a month before the Colorado theater attack that Holmes had homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the public, according to documents released on Thursday.
Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, told police in June that Holmes threatened and intimidated her. It was more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70.
In the days after the attack, campus police said they had never had contact with Holmes, who was a graduate student at the university.
But campus police told investigators after the shooting that Fenton had contacted them, following her legal requirement to report specific threats to authorities, according to a search warrant affidavit.
“Dr. Fenton advised that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made,” the affidavit said.
University police referred calls for comment Thursday to a campus spokeswoman who did not immediately return a message.
The documents previously were sealed, but the new judge overseeing the case ordered them released after requests from media organizations.
Holmes last week offered to plead guilty in the attacks. Prosecutors rejected that offer and announced Monday they would seek the death penalty.
Holmes sent Fenton a package in the days before the shooting, including a notebook that the released documents describe as a “journal.” The package wasn't discovered until four days after the attack.
In court, prosecutors suggested 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.
The documents — including arrest and search warrant affidavits — were unsealed by the new judge in the case. District Judge Carlos Samour took over the case earlier this week after the previous judge, who had sealed the documents, removed himself. Judge William Sylvester handed off to Samour on Monday, saying prosecutors' decision to seek the death penalty against Holmes meant the case would take up so much time that he couldn't carry out his administrative duties as chief judge of a busy four-county district.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Upstate New York town threatened by Arizona man in online post, reports say
- Iraq War veteran, mother of 2 slain in Colorado clinic rampage
- New Navy destroyer Zumwalt’s seaworthiness questioned before sea trials
- Storm lingers in southern Plains
- Hunt on for mother of baby buried alive in California
- Self-driving vehicles closer to getting green light as feds ease stance
- Email address gives FBI lead on record theft of user IDs, passwords
- Newborn left in manger in N.Y. church, police say
- Military Academy bans pillow fights; 30 hurt during last one
- Democrats face long odds in battle for lost congressional seats
- Floods claim lives in Texas