Colo. shooting suspect lawyers to subpoena reporter
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Attorneys for the Colorado movie theater shooting suspect plan to subpoena a Fox News journalist who was the first to report that James Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook full of violent descriptions.
The attorneys made the statement toward the end of a court hearing Monday after nine different law enforcement officials denied being the ones to tell reporter Jana Winter about the notebook. The defense argues the disclosure was a violation of a gag order in the case and is seeking sanctions against the leaker.
After authorities seized a package from Holmes in the mailroom of the University of Colorado, Denver four days after the shooting, Winter reported that it contained a notebook with violent descriptions of a possible attack. Defense attorneys quickly complained that the leak must have come from law enforcement and demanded sanctions, though prosecutors said the report was inaccurate and there was no indication it came from anyone with knowledge of the case.
The defense's plans to subpoena Winter could set up a courtroom clash over reporters' ability to protect their sources from disclosure. Winter did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Holmes sent the notebook and burnt paper money to his psychiatrist shortly before allegedly opening fire on a midnight screening of the new Batman movie in July. Authorities haven't described the notebook's contents. In court on Monday, they said they only became aware of it after Holmes' attorneys contacted his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, and asked for it back. The package was then found, undelivered, in the university mail room.
Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70. John Larimer, a 2003 Crystal Lake South High School graduate and a U.S. Navy seaman stationed in Aurora, Colo., was one of the 12 people killed in the attack.
A preliminary hearing to determine if there's enough evidence for Holmes to stand trial is scheduled for Jan. 7.
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