James Holmes Trial: Police Won’t Release Information to Media in Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Case
Nov 27, 2012 02:01 PM EST
(Photo : Reuters )
The media has made numerous requests for the release of certain documents in regards to James Egan Holmes, the alleged Colorado movie theater shooter, however the police, University as well as the court has been very careful in the divulgence of any information to the public domain.
Chief of Colorado Denver Police Department, Doug Abraham told the media Tuesday, "Although the public's interest in knowing what the University of Colorado Denver Police Department knew about Mr. Holmes is substantial, it does not outweigh the need to ensure the fairness of the trial of Mr. Holmes, at this time," according to the local NBC News channel.
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Last week, Judge William Sylvester released another mug shot of the 24-year-old to the public. Holmes is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Detention Center.
Most crucial documents in the Aurora shooting case have been kept sealed, very few documents have been released to the public, and those that have been exposed are heavily edited.
Recently, judge Sylvester denied victims suing the movie theater crucial information in the case. According to CBS Denver, the judge is being particularly careful in his choice of what is to be exposed in the case. CBS Denver reporter, Rick Sallinger said, "We get lots of tiny bits and pieces and have to paste these parts together to make sense out of what seems like a senseless mass shooting."
Earlier this month, the judge denied victims in the Colorado movie shooting access to sealed documents in the murder trial of alleged shooter James Egan Holmes. The decision comes after the judge also denied requests by prosecutor and defense alike to keep names of the victims from public records.
According to the Judge releasing these documents would "jeopardize the defendant's right to a fair trial," as reported by WPTV. Many of the surviving victims have filed a class action suit against the theater for lax security. Both defense and prosecution in the James Holmes shootout case requested that the names of victims be kept from public, but Judge Sylvester over-ruled the requested and stated that the names of the victims will remain open to the public.
While the defense argued that having the names of the victims out in the public will likely create a bias against his client, prosecution argued that victims were being harassed by the media and therefore their names and identities should be kept under wrap. The judge disagreed with both arguments. In a court hearing in November, Judge Sylvester also set the court date for a preliminary hearing in the James Holmes shootout case for the first week of January 2013.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the hearing will take place on the week of January 7. At the preliminary hearing prosecutors will present the court with its evidence against the 24-year-old accused of opening fire at an Aurora movie house- killing 12 and seriously injuring 59. Holmes and his defense team will likely enter a plea at the hearing. Holmes has been charged with 142 counts of murder and attempted murder.
Initially the Ph.D. drop out was charged with 116 counts of attempted murder and 12 counts of murder, however, earlier this month prosecution under Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson added 14 additional charges.
Currently, the alleged shooter Holmes is being held in a detention facility of Arapahoe County in solitary confinement. The past few weeks have resulted in some revealing details of Holmes mental state. 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.
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 custody.