Holmes Trial

Court docs: Holmes was seeing psychiatrist at CU

AURORA | James Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist at University of Colorado before last week’s theater massacre, according to court documents.

The revelation came in a motion filed by Holmes’ defense team accusing law enforcement of leaking information about the case to the media.

  • James E. Holmes

    FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2012 file photo, James Holmes, accused of killing 12 people in Friday's shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, appears in Arapahoe County District Court with defense attorney Tamara Brady in Centennial, Colo. With their anger and tears stirred by the sight of Holmes in a courtroom with red hair and glassy eyes, the families of those killed in the Colorado theater massacre now must go home to plan their final goodbyes. (AP Photo/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool, File)

  • Lynne Fenton

Specifically, Holmes’ defense team said law enforcement improperly leaked to Fox News and NBCnews.com details about a package Holmes sent to his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Fenton is the medical director for student mental health service at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus, where Holmes was a graduate student studying neuroscience until June. According to a biography posted on the university’s website, Fenton specialized in patients with schizophrenia.

The motion did not say how long Holmes had been seeing Fenton, but said he was a psychiatric patient of hers and that the communications in the package are protected.

In a response to Holmes’ defense team, prosecutors were dubious of the media reports. Prosecutors said they don’t believe there is a law enforcement source leaking information to the media citing several inaccuracies in the reports.

Judge William B. Sylvester said in an order Friday that the matter would be discussed in court Monday, when Holmes is scheduled to appear for formal filing of charges.

Holmes is being held in the Arapahoe County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder after last week’s shootings at the Century Aurora 16 theater left 12 dead and 58 injured.

Fox News reported Monday that the package contained a spiral notebook filled with details about the theater drawings, including stick figure drawings.

The report cited “law enforcement” sources, but prosecutors said they doubted the existence of a law enforcement source.

Prosecutors said reports that the FBI was in possession of the package were inaccurate as were reports that it was the FBI who intercepted the package. In fact, prosecutors wrote, it was Aurora police who had the package and investigators had not yet reviewed its contents.

“To put it bluntly, the People are extremely dubious of the media assertions that ‘law enforcement sources’ exist,” prosecutors wrote.

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  • Doc2in

    I am appalled at the work of the psychiatrist. I spent many years as a psychologist, some of it working with clients with major mental disorders such as schizophrenia. In my view, any competent counselor/psychiatrist should have recognized that Homles was psychotic and placed him on medications or in a mental ward for treatment. At the very least, the psychiatrist should have realized that they were not able to adequately treat him and referred him to someone who could.

    I would urge the licensing board to investigate and determine if this person should be allowed to continue practicing as a psychiatrist.

    • Jack6789

      Are you really a psychologist? I ask because no psychologist that I know uses the colloquial phrase mental ward. The simplistic idea that the psychiatrist or psychologist can prevent a behavior by meds or referral also smacks of naivety.

  • theQ

    And your statement is coming from a deranged mind…years as a psychologist??  No your words are those of the patient of this psychologist…see you have no way on god’s givin earth for you to know what sort of relationship these two had…thats like saying it was impossible for him to have acted sane enuff to that point where she felt no panic yet…people act perfectly sane and then just go berserk instantly…all the time. You have no idea but you state as fact that she should have done something…you have no facts…so your statement to blame without rational thinking just indicates your irrational thinking and you should be put into a mental ward for the rest of your natural life.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/LQJY44DQEJB3VWKWJMIVOBK4GA inspire the world

      Q you have no Idea, I agree with the doc. If people were treated in a hospital setting which means they are in an enviromerment where they are not a threat to the public, then meds side effects are addressed, they have no acess to alcohol , cannot stop meds cold turkey at will, also meds can be adjusted while their medical condition is monitored. This is the reponsible thing to do for a patient. This is care, I feel it is possible the med he was taking triggered mania, it happens frequently to those who have the mediical condition schizophrenia or are bipolar.
      My source: 2 immediate relatives. who experienced mania from an antidepressant.

      • Jack6789

        Inspire, I appreciate your optimism about hospital settings as a cure all. The problem, though, is that humans even in hospital settings remain unable to fully predict the behavior of other humans. Can you predict the behavior of your 2 immediate relatives with mental health problems? Can you predict the behavior of your spouse or child or even yourself? It is unrealistic to hope that we could prevent every crime by hospitalization.

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