US theatre shooting suspect shows emotion in court
The suspect in the US theatre rampage that killed 12 in one of the worst mass shootings in the country’s history smiled and glanced around the courtroom Thursday, a marked difference from his dazed appearances in the past. The shocking orange hair was gone, but he remained silent.
Prosecutors gave up their fight to see a notebook sent by suspect James Holmes to a psychiatrist that they think details a violent attack, saying they didn’t want to delay the proceedings.
Holmes has been charged with 142 counts, including murder and attempted murder, in the June 20 attack at a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie. Fifth-eight people were wounded in the shooting as the gunman roamed the darkened theater.
defence attorneys have said Holmes is mentally ill and that the notebook, sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton, shouldn’t be released because of doctor-patient privilege. Fenton last saw Holmes professionally on June 11 before seeing him again in court on Aug. 30.
Prosecutors argued that the notebook is fair game, saying Holmes planned to be dead or in prison after the shooting rampage and had no plans to undergo therapy.
But Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman said even if prosecutors convince the judge the notebook isn’t protected, defence attorneys likely would appeal.
If Holmes’ mental health becomes an issue, Orman said, Holmes would have to waive doctor-client privilege and prosecutors likely would gain access to the notebook.
Last month, Orman said detective Tom Welton would testify that Holmes who posted profiles online before the shooting with the tagline, “Will you visit me in prison?”
Holmes was a graduate student in the Neuroscience program at the University of Colorado. Prosecutors said Holmes did poorly on a key exam and withdrew on June 10 while he was stockpiling guns, ammunition and body armor ahead of the shooting.
His apartment was found heavily booby-trapped after the shooting.