James Holmes’ attorneys prep for insanity defense
100 pages of school documents could seal his fate
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 01:09
Two months after the shooting that left 12 dead and 58 injured, Century Aurora 16 shooting suspect James Holmes is having his day in court.
The submission of evidence for the case has been a particularly time-intensive task. Prosecutors are asking for several pages of school records, while the defense maintains that their client, Holmes, suffers from mental health issues. And now they are asking CU Denver Anchutz Medical Campus to help them build their case.
Members of the 18th Judicial District’s District Attorney’s office have requested what Melanie Asmar described as, “about 100 pages of Holmes’ educational records, which likely include his application, grades, e-mails, and documents related to Holmes terminating his relationship with the university.”
Holmes’s attorney Daniel King said the DA’s office is on a “fishing expedition,” and “It’s irrelevant what the motive is.”
However, the documents could help prove that Holmes was mentally competent at the time of the crime, which could result in the death penalty if he is found guilty.
School documents are being called into play because before he was admitted to UCD Anchutz, there is evidence that Holmes was denied admittance to several doctorate neuroscience programs at the University of Alabama, University of Kansas, University of Illinois, and University of Iowa. And each of those rejections was delivered with similar responses.
University of Alabama wrote, “We regret to inform you that you have not been recommended for admission.” A UAB graduate professor told ABC News, “His personality may not be as engaging as some applicants, but he is going to be a leader in the future.”
According to CNN, after a meeting with neuroscience program director Daniel Tranel at the University of Iowa in January 2011, Tranel urged the admissions committee to reject Holmes’ application, saying, “James Holmes: do not offer admission under any circumstances.”
Recently Holmes encountered his own troubles at the Anchutz campus, the last campus he attended.
Court documents state that Holmes was “denied access to the school after June 12, 2012, after he made threats to a professor,” but a spokeswoman for Anchutz said Holmes’ access to labs and other restricted areas had been terminated because he was voluntarily withdrawing from the university, but he was never banned from any of the public areas.
There were no accounts of anyone coming in contact with Holmes after he withdrew from the university until a recent account revealed Holmes contacted a former classmate via text message and asked if she had heard of dysphoric mania, and that she should stay away from him, “because I am bad news.”
Whether or not the documents the DA’s office is requesting will present any significance in the case remains to be determined. But in the meantime Holmes’ attorneys continue to prepare for an insanity defense.
For now, Holmes’ fate lies in the hands of Judge William Sylvester, who will ultimately decide whether or not to allow those 100 pages of educational records as evidence in the case.