As his lawyers appear to be preparing an insanity defense, suspected Aurora theater gunman James Holmes' opinions on rational thought and his personal experiences with a mentally ill child have been made public.
Photographer: University of Colorado
AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes told a University of Colorado classmate in March that he planned to kill people "when his life was over," a prosecutor said in court records released Friday.
This statement was made about four months before the July 20 shooting rampage at the Century 16 theaters, the prosecutor said.
Then in June, he failed his graduate school oral examinations, and he was denied access to CU's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora on June 12 "after he made threats to a professor at the school," Arapahoe County Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson wrote in court papers.
As the 24-year-old neuroscience student voluntarily began withdrawing from the graduate program and was denied access to campus, "he began a detailed and complex plan to obtain firearms, ammunition, a tear-gas grenade, body armor, a gas-mask and a ballistic helmet, which were used in the commission of the murders and the attempted murders," Pearson wrote.
Holmes was treated by CU psychiatrist and professor Lynne Fenton for an unspecified psychological problem. His defense attorneys have said he is mentally ill.
Holmes is now charged with the murders of 12 people and the wounding of 58 others in the movie theater rampage.
Pearson made the revelations in a response to a defense motion to block a prosecution subpoena seeking access to about 100 pages of CU records about Holmes. Prosecutors said the records are necessary for them to determine Holmes' state of mind before the rampage.
Prosecutors say the documents include information about Holmes' courses, emails, documents about his withdrawal from the university weeks before the killings and his oral and written examination information.
During a Thursday hearing, Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester did not rule on the prosecution's request.
Prosecutors are also asking for access to records from the university's threat assessment or BETA team.
CALL7 Investigators were the first to report that Fenton, Holmes' psychiatrist, had reported his behavior to the BETA team.
Holmes' defense attorneys have argued that any medical and school records are inadmissible in court because their release would violate doctor-patient confidentiality and the federal privacy law known as FERPA.
The defense called the request for documents a "fishing expedition."
The defense even objected to the judge inspecting the records alone in his chambers, saying they might contain the defendant's privileged information. The records remain sealed in the judge’s office.
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