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April 12, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Some friends and relatives of the victims of July's movie theater shooting spree in Aurora, Colo., in which 12 people were killed and dozens injured, are pleased that prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against alleged gunman James Holmes and have rebuffed his offer to plead guilty in exchange for life in prison. Should their opinions matter? My short, if politically unpopular answer, is no. It's natural that the victims' loved ones are talking in terms of an eye for an eye and a death for a death (actually many deaths)
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NATIONAL
April 23, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Defense attorneys for James E. Holmes, charged in the shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens wounded, will appeal a court order requiring him to undergo a second evaluation of his sanity. His lawyers gave notice that they would appeal in a Tuesday court filing in the case before Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. The filing was released Wednesday . Holmes underwent a mandatory sanity evaluation last year, but Samour ruled that it was inadequate and ordered a second round of testing.
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NATIONAL
August 30, 2012 | By Jenny Deam, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A defense attorney in the Aurora theater shooting floated a startling scenario in court Thursday, suggesting that the accused gunman may have tried to contact his psychiatrist minutes before a midnight shooting spree that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded. Public defender Tamara Brady did not say James E. Holmes made such a call, but opened the door of possibility while questioning the University of Colorado psychiatrist who saw him as a patient on June 11. After establishing that anyone dialing a phone number to a university hospital operator could potentially reach Dr. Lynne Fenton,  Brady asked: “Did James Holmes call that number nine minutes before the shooting started?
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield, This post has been updated. See below for details.
Forgive the cynicism, but really, who cares why Army Spec. Ivan Lopez took a gun and killed three people and wounded 16 others at Ft. Hood, Texas, on Wednesday? Thursday's stories were filled with details about Lopez and his rampage: He was being treated for depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances; he had seen a psychiatrist recently and had been prescribed Ambien; he was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder; he served in Iraq but not in combat; he bought his weapon from the same gun store as fellow Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
NEWS
September 20, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
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.
NATIONAL
November 14, 2012 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The suspect in the Aurora movie theater mass slaying has been hospitalized with an undisclosed illness or injury serious enough that his defense team asked that a scheduled pre-trial hearing be postponed. Defense attorneys for James Holmes asked for an emergency hearing late Wednesday afternoon saying their client's condition made it impossible for him to appear in court Thursday. Public defender Tamara Brady offered no details, citing Holmes' medical and psychiatric privilege.
NATIONAL
September 20, 2012 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Prosecutors in the Colorado movie theater shooting on Thursday abruptly dropped their effort to gain access to a notebook written by suspect James Holmes, who appeared in court looking engaged and without the orange hair he had in previous appearances. Holmes, who has been in custody since the July 20 shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, seemed alert as he watched the proceedings. His once orange hair was short and brown and he was well-trimmed and groomed, unlike the wild-eyed visage he had presented before.
NATIONAL
December 5, 2012 | By Paloma Esquivel and Jenny Deam
DENVER -- More than 1,500 emails to and from accused mass murderer James Holmes were made public for the first time Wednesday. The emails, released by the University of Colorado-Denver, where Holmes was a neuroscience doctoral student, are from his two school accounts. Holmes, 24, faces 166 charges in the July 20 shooting spree that killed 12 and wounded at least 58 just past midnight during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in a packed Aurora theater. He is being held without bond.
NATIONAL
December 10, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
James E. Holmes, charged in the Colorado movie theater shooting that roiled the nation in July, is due in court on Monday for a hearing to discuss a variety of issues including whether the prosecution violated a gag order. Holmes, 24, faces 166 charges in the attack that killed 12 and wounded at least 58 during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” just past midnight in a packed Aurora theater. He is being held without bond. Monday's hearing was supposed to have taken place on Nov. 15, but was put off when his lawyers told the court that Holmes could not attend.
NATIONAL
September 28, 2012 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The release Friday of previously sealed court documents in the case against Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James E. Holmes offer a glimpse of evidence that could be presented during his trial. Among the potential evidence: a text message he sent to a classmate, contents of his computers, and a notebook sent to his psychiatrist. Also, Holmes' attorneys are planning to call an expert to testify on Holmes' mental condition, the documents said. The defense has previously said Holmes is mentally ill. Judge William Sylvester has granted a prosecution request that additional physical evidence be gathered from Holmes.
NATIONAL
December 10, 2013 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
In a strongly worded opinion that backed a robust interpretation of reporters' rights to protect confidential sources, New York state's highest court has ruled in favor of a Fox news reporter and said she does not have to appear in a Colorado court seeking her testimony in connection with the trial of James E. Holmes, accused in the mass shooting that left 12 dead in a suburban Denver movie theater. In 4-3 ruling released on Tuesday, the New York Court of Appeals held that the state's shield law protects New York-based reporter Jana Winter and rejected an effort by the Colorado courts to have her return to testify.
NATIONAL
October 7, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Colorado will send as many as 6,000 juror summonses for the James E. Holmes murder trial in an effort to choose a 12-person jury and 12 alternates in the Aurora theater rampage case, officials said Monday. Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. told a court hearing that he would issue 1,000 more summonses than he had earlier announced and would expand the number of alternates in preparation for the trial, which is scheduled to begin in February, according to the Associated Press.
NATIONAL
July 11, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Although it has never really been a whodunit, almost exactly a year after the Aurora movie theater massacre, attorneys for James E. Holmes erased any doubt about who opened fire. In a court filing made public this week, defense lawyers admitted that Holmes “was in the throes of a psychotic episode when he committed the acts that resulted in the tragic loss of life and injuries sustained by moviegoers on July 20, 2012.” It is the first time the defense team has made such a clear-cut declaration of their client's responsibility.
NATIONAL
June 25, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- At least 5,000 juror summonses, possibly a state record, will be issued to seat a panel for the trial of movie theater shooting suspect James E. Holmes, the judge in the capital murder case said Tuesday. District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said that out of those summoned -- he already has ruled that a special jury pool will be created for the high-profile Holmes case -- he hoped at least 3,200 would be available to serve. Samour has estimated that jury selection could take weeks.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The judge in the James E. Holmes case has ruled that defense attorneys will not be allowed to attend the defendant's psychiatric  examination because of concerns they would “inevitably interfere.” District Judge Carlos Samour Jr. agreed with officials from the state psychiatric hospital who thought that Holmes' lawyers might coach him on how to answer certain questions or advise him not to answer -- actions that could influence...
NATIONAL
June 12, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The mental state of accused theater gunman James E. Holmes continues to take center stage as he heads toward trial, with his attorneys and a mental health expert wrangling over a key question: Should Holmes' attorneys be present when he undergoes an examination at a state psychiatric hospital? William May, superintendent at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, wrote in a letter to the judge that the presence of Holmes' lawyers could “compromise the validity of test results obtained during the course of an examination, and by extension, may compromise the reliability or validity of the results  of an overall sanity examination.
NATIONAL
January 8, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- After a day of grisly and emotionally difficult testimony from those first on the scene of the Aurora movie massacre, a second day of details about the carnage is set to unfold Tuesday. Prosecutors are expected to continue methodically laying out their case against James E. Holmes, a 25-year-old former neuroscience doctoral student at the University of Colorado-Denver. They must prove there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Holmes faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.
NATIONAL
August 31, 2012 | By Jenny Deam
AURORA, Colo. - An official with University of Colorado Hospital confirmed Friday that someone called the main switchboard on July 20, minutes before a gunman opened fire in a crowded midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and wounding 58. The anonymous caller hung up a few second later without saying a word, said Brad Fixler, marketing director for the hospital. The call could fit into a scenario offered for the first time Thursday by a defense attorney for the man accused of carrying out the massacre, James E. Holmes.
NATIONAL
June 11, 2013 | By Jenny Deam
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The judge in James E. Holmes' murder trial in the Aurora movie theater massacre ruled Tuesday that the defendant can wear street clothes to court and that prospective jurors will not be sequestered during what is expected to be a lengthy selection process. In allowing Holmes to shed his prison clothes, Judge Carlos Samour Jr. quoted from a Colorado appellant ruling: “The presumption of innocence requires the garb of innocence.” He also cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined wearing prison clothes is “inherently prejudicial.” Holmes, 25, is scheduled to stand trial in February 2014 on a total of 166 counts of first degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges in connection with last summer's Aurora movie theater massacre.
NATIONAL
May 24, 2013 | By Jenny Deam, Los Angeles Times
CENTENNIAL, Colo. - With the stakes for their client literally life or death, defense attorneys for James E. Holmes on Thursday again challenged the constitutionality of Colorado's law governing insanity pleas. Holmes, 25, is accused in the July 20 massacre that killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a packed Aurora movie theater. He is charged with 166 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons charges, and faces the death penalty if convicted. By law he cannot be put to death if found not guilty by reason of insanity - a plea his lawyers this month asked the court to accept.
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