James Holmes, just weeks before allegedly gunning down people at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, may have threatened someone at the University of Colorado and was banned from campus, according to court records released Friday.
The documents are heavily edited in many places so names can’t be read, but they show the prosecution’s contention that the threats were made, as well as other information from the days before the deadly massacre occurred. Holmes, 24, is facing 152 charges, including murder and attempted murder.
It’s not clear who the person is Holmes allegedly threatened, but prosecutors said it was a professor at the university, where Holmes was taking graduate classes.
The news that Holmes may have been blocked from school clashes with university statements that he may not have been able to get into some places on campus because he withdrew, not because he was threatening faculty at the school, where he was a doctorate candidate studying neuroscience.
The documents show the defense wanted to stop prosecutors from saying Holmes was blocked from the school because of the threats. The prosecution wasn’t punished be was warned not to make “assertions about the defendant which may be contradicted later by the facts.”
In an unusual move, the judge will allow the defense team to go against a standing gag order and release a public statement responding to the prosecution’s depiction that Holmes was blocked from campus.
Prosecutors have said Holmes tried to call his psychiatrist at the school, Dr. Lynne Fenton, nine minutes before the shootings started.
Fenton, though, said her contact with Holmes stopped on June 11, but she later called campus police because she was concerned about the last time she met with him. Holmes mailed a notebook to Fenton, and last week the judges said prosecutors couldn’t see the notebook, but Holmes’ lawyers could.
The documents also show Holmes was texting someone before the shooting, but the person isn’t named and the texts aren’t public. Police have interviewed the person involved and downloaded all the contents of that person’s phone. But the document about that are heavily redacted so contacts and other personal information would stay quiet.