Colorado Shooter James Holmes Update: Aurora Killer Sought Help Before Dark Knight Massacre, Holmes’ Mental Illness – True or False?
Aug 10, 2012 12:34 PM EDT
The defense of James Egan Holmes, who is being charged with 12 counts of murder and 116 of attempted murder for the July 20th Aurora movie shootout, argues that her client, 24-year old Holmes reached out for help before his shootings, hinting to an insanity plea in a Thursday court appearance.
"He tried to get help with his mental illness," said the public defender according to the Huffington Post. Last week's claims by University of Colorado Psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton that she informed a police about the 24-year-old expressing concern that her patient showed signs of imminent violence only seem to bolster the defense's evidence for a possible plea for insanity.
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Holmes, who has been charged with 128 counts, has not entered a plea yet, however it would come as no surprise if he pleads mental incompetency.
But while reports about Holmes' alleged mental illness are making waves, reports by a local news channel a few weeks ago suggests that an inside at the detention facility states, "contrary to what some media organizations have reported, our sources say in the past 48-hours Holmes has been calm and docile in jail, just like he was in court. There have been no outbursts at all as he is in isolation," according the ABC 7 News.
On a blog site, one writer explores in an article titles "Questions the MSM Doesn't Ask about James Holmes," explores the ambiguous and inconsistent areas in the case with regards to Holmes mental state.
However, whether Holmes' prison behavior was volatile or docile, does not discount the fact that Dr. Fenton broke the doctor-patient confidentiality code and surpassed University authorities to inform the police on the 24-year-old former neuroscience Ph.D. student. This suggests that her concern had to have been of the highest degree.
Dr. Carol Bernstein, psychiatrist at NYU Langone Medical Center and former president of the American Psychiatric Association, told Good Morning America, "For any physician to break doctor-patient confidentiality there would have to be an extremely good reason...Confidentiality is a key part of the doctor-patient relationship...It is central to everything we do."
Last Saturday, the University of Colorado hired former US District Attorney Robert Miller to investigate the university in the case of the alleged Aurora movie shooter after psychiatrist Dr. Fenton's statement the week before.
The University released a statement to CNN, "The University is doing everything it can to fully cooperate with the criminal investigation. Additionally, we are doing everything we can to understand how the university's systems and processes functioned in this situation. Bob Miller comes to us with a stellar reputation for diligence and integrity. We have given him broad latitude to conduct his review," (www.wptv.com).
According to Dr. Fenton, she has expressed concern over Holmes to the university's Behavior Evaluation and Threat Assessment department in June; however since he soon dropped out of the program and the college could no longer take any action.
On July 20, at a midnight screening of the cult-inducing Dark Knight Rises film at a movie house in Aurora, Colorado, Holmes, opened fire killing 12 people and injuring 59 others. He was arrested that morning and placed in a detention facility of Arapahoe County in solitary confinement.
Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney Carol Chambers told News Day that she is considering pursuing the death penalty, but only after consulting with the victims and their families.
Although, there are no developments as to the motives of the shootings, police said that Holmes had purchased the assault rifles with which he carried on the killing the day he failed an exam hinting to an "underlying mental illness that was triggered by the stress of failure," according to reports by ABC News. But Holmes had starting accumulating ammunition and other arms a month prior to the killing.
In addition, police recovered a journal that the Ph.D. drop-out sent the university physiatrist cautioning on the upcoming fatal event he planned. Unfortunately, the journal remained in an unchecked mail-box and was discovered only until it was too late.
Holmes sent a journal, which was "full of details about how he was going to kill people," according to Fox News to the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus in Aurora psychiatrist. However it was not discovered until too late.
Police found his apartment to be inundated with ammunition in addition to being booby-trapped. Police required a bomb-squad to disarm his apartment; residents were evacuated for over a week before they could return back to their homes. The apartment of the alleged shooter revealed that he had been preparing for the shooting months in advance and had accumulated a number of weapons, ammunitions and explosives over a period of time.
He is currently being kept in detention facility. He has yet to enter a plea, but there is a growing possibility that his lawyers might file for the temporary insanity or mental incompetency.