Lynne Fenton, James Holmes doctor, reportedly alerted threat team weeks before theater attack

Thumbnail image for lynne fenton cropped.jpg
Lynne Fenton.
Yesterday, we noted that Dr. Lynne Fenton, the psychiatrist ID'd as treating accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, was the target of stories about previous disciplinary action more minor than headlines implied. Now, however, Fenton is getting press more positive for her but potentially injurious to the University of Colorado Denver. The report: She warned a UCD threat team about Holmes in June, but no action was taken.

The info comes courtesy of 7News. According to sources who spoke to the station on the pledge of anonymity, Fenton "was so concerned about his behavior that she notified other members of the University of Colorado Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment, or BETA, team that he could potentially be a danger to others."

beta team graphic james holmes cu.jpg
A graphic from the web page for the University of Colorado BETA team.
Fenton was instrumental in creating the BETA team two years ago. However, the Denver Post notes that she's transitioned from a leader of the group to an adviser.

Why didn't the team meet as a result of Fenton's contacts? The 7News source speculates that the matter may have been dropped because Holmes began the process of withdrawing from the neuroscience program at the school. A University of Colorado spokesperson tells the broadcaster that he lost access to secure campus areas on June 12.

At this point, all records related to CU and Holmes have been sealed, with 18th Judicial District Judge William Sylvester placing the university under a gag order. For that reason, we don't know if there was any mechanism in place for the BETA team to alert law enforcement even if the Holmes-CU divorce was underway. Moreover, it's unclear whether the statements that alarmed Fenton were generalized evidence of mental instability of comments about actions like the ones he's accused of taking early on July 20 at the Aurora Century 16, where twelve moviegoers were killed and dozens more were injured.

Whatever the case, the report suggests that Fenton was worried about Holmes a month and a half before he proved that such intuition was all too accurate.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Aurora theater shooting: Reference to James Holmes being psychiatric patient censored."

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DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Seriously, what's up with her eyes?


Did she have them surgically altered into that crescent shape, or is that some natural genetic occurrence?

RobertChase topcommenter

Fenton's action may reduce her personal liability.

Katie Rotvold
Katie Rotvold

The fact that she reported it but dud she follow up? She could have pushed harder to get him help. That's what doctors are supposed to do instead of pushing it off to someone else. This all could have be prevented if she just followed up.


APD is doing ALL THEY CAN to take the focus off the ballistics,

where the public would learn just exactly how many were hit by police bullets...

David Spohn
David Spohn

I care shit about a system that has failed LONG BEFORE this freaking loser rolled into Gander Mtn and bought weapons! Remeber 9-11 planes were highjacked with box cutters! And plenty of Government agencies knew about the "threats". This so called "crack" you speak of is called FREEDOM and if we micro manage every single "threat" there would be none left. For then we become a judge and until we can spot this possible "defect" in humans at birth we will be powerless to stop it.

David Bernstein
David Bernstein

more and more reason that the university is at least somewhat to blame.

Christopher Troy Jackson
Christopher Troy Jackson

Interesting fact. J Holmes father was involved with DARPA and was set to testify before congress in the LIBOR scandal

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