James E. Holmes appears in Arapahoe County District Court on July 23, 2012,… (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ…)
Colorado prosecutors on Thursday will again try to get a look at a notebook sent to a University of Colorado psychiatrist by the suspect in the Aurora movie theater shooting.
The notebook, sent by suspect James Holmes to psychiatrist Lynne Fenton, reportedly contains descriptions of a violent attack that could be similar to the one at the Aurora theater on July 20.
Holmes has been charged with 142 counts of murder and attempted murder in the attack where 12 were shot to death during the premiere of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Night Rises.”
The issue in Thursday’s hearing is expected to focus on whether Holmes and Fenton had a patient-doctor relationship that prevents the prosecution from seeing the notebook. The prosecution maintains that any such relationship ended on June 11, the last time Fenton saw Holmes.
Holmes was a graduate student in the neuroscience program at the University of Colorado. Prosecutors said he did poorly on a key exam and withdrew on June 10 while he was stockpiling weapons for the assault on the movie theater.
Defense attorneys argue that Holmes is mentally ill and sought Fenton's help, hence the relationship continued and confidentiality should be maintained.
Arapahoe County District Judge William B. Sylvester at the end of August rebuffed the prosecution efforts, rejecting the argument that the doctor-patient relationship ended June 11. But the jurist allowed another hearing on Thursday during which the lead police investigator, Detective Craig Appel, is expected to take the stand. Another officer, Tom Welton, may also testify.
In addition to the 12 who died in the attack, 58 other people were wounded, leading to the 142 counts that Holmes faces. On Wednesday, the court released a document showing that prosecutors want to add 10 counts and amend 17 existing charges. Details were not immediately available because of a gag order, but the change in the charges could be explained later Thursday.
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