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National Briefing / Virginia

Files taken by mistake, lawyer says

July 24, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

The former head of a Virginia Tech counseling center accidentally packed mental health files of student gunman Seung-hui Cho with personal documents when he left his job more than a year before Cho killed 32 people on the Richmond campus, a lawyer said.

In a statement to the Associated Press, attorney Ed McNelis said his client, Dr. Robert Miller, placed Cho's records in a box in February 2006. He said Miller opened it for the first time last week while searching for material that could be relevant to a lawsuit filed by families for two of the slain students in the April 2007 shooting.

McNelis said Miller was surprised to find Cho's records and returned them to the center the next morning. The file has not been made public.

State police are investigating whether removal of the records was a crime. Officials say they will release the records publicly as soon as possible.

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