Colorado shooting suspect expected in court again
Centennial: The suspect in last month`s Colorado theater shooting was expected in court again today as news media planned to ask a judge to unseal documents and weaken a gag order that keeps a university from releasing details about its former student.
A news agency and 20 other news organizations want Chief District Judge William Sylvester to make available documents that could provide details about James Holmes and the July 20 attack at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.
Holmes, a 24-year-old former PhD student at the University of Colorado, is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
Arapahoe County prosecutors say releasing documents could jeopardize their investigation. Holmes` attorneys want to ensure he receives a fair trial.
The judge has barred university officials from responding to public records requests concerning Holmes, saying giving out the information would jeopardize the county`s investigation. City officials have cited the order in declining to speak about Aurora`s response to the shootings.
Court documents, which include search warrants, inventories of evidence collected by police and police interviews with witnesses, can be an important source of information for the public.
"It is performing our watchdog role to look at the process and try to assess for the public how the police have handled the case and assembled the evidence and assure for the defendant and the public that things are being conducted open and fairly," said Gregory Moore, editor of The Denver Post.
"It goes way beyond what`s necessary to protect the defendant`s right to a fair trial."
Sylvester could make a decision today or at a later time. Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers, through a spokeswoman, declined comment ahead of the hearing, citing the gag order.
Holmes` public defender, Daniel King, did not return a message left with the Colorado State Public Defender`s office. Steven D Zansberg, an attorney representing the news media consortium, said the judge should at least explain which documents have been sealed and why.
Little is known about how police say Holmes prepared for the shooting or how they say he rigged his nearby apartment with explosives. Aurora Police Chief Daniel Oates has said the explosives were designed to kill anybody who entered Holmes` apartment.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors routinely ask judges to keep some documents sealed, often because the documents contain information a jury won`t hear at trial, said Denver criminal defense attorney Daniel Recht, who also argues First Amendment cases.
But Moore, the editor, noted that some Colorado judges have sealed entire court dockets under the argument that the mere fact of media coverage will damage a case.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Will Akhilesh-Rahul alliance be able to trump BJP in UP elections?
- Arms case: Salman Khan acquitted by Jodhpur court
- Raisina Dialogue 2017: Pakistan must walk away from terror, says PM Modi
- DNA: Analysis of insensitivity shown by political leaders over rising poverty in India
- Valour of a soldier: CRPF officer Satwant Singh fights Naxals till his last breath
- World's 30 most dynamic cities: Check out the full list
- WATCH: Kieron Pollard's incredible one-handed six demoralises Fawad Ahmed
- China State TV said that its troops can reach New Delhi in 48 hours in war scenario; Indians slay it with their replies
- China's NSG stand is neither fair nor transparent, says Defence Expert
- Bengaluru pips Silicon Valley to become world's most dynamic city