Aurora theater shooting victim impersonator suspect identified by cops, won't be charged

dan oates.jpg
Dan Oates.
Update below: Law enforcement investigated motions filed by someone impersonating a victim in the James Holmes case, prosecutors say in one of 57 documents made public. As Westword previously reported, at least one of those motions is truly bizarre, claiming that Holmes is being "framed by Philip Anschutz, police chief Dan Oates, and the illuminati." Many of the documents are redacted, but they do provide a glimpse into the case.

Update, September 28, 11:50 a.m: The original version of this post did not include the following information:

A report from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office included in the documents released today indicates that the sheriff's office "identified a suspect believed to be responsible for the filing of the motion" to intervene on August 27. The bizarre motion linked above was filed on that date. The report continues that "at this time, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office lacks sufficient probable cause to pursue charges against this individual."

The report is on view below, along with other documents referenced in this post. There have also been minor edits in our previous account reflecting the report's contents.

Original post, September 28, 10:46 a.m.: Judge William Sylvester decided last week to make the court file public except for motions filed by prosecutors and defense attorneys under seal. But due to the heavy redaction that was required, the documents in the file were not released until today.

In one document filed just yesterday, prosecutors ask the court to replace the original document listing the charges against Holmes with one in which the victims' names are redacted. The original document included the names of all seventy victims identified at the time. (More charges have since been added.) But prosecutors suspect someone is using victims' names to file fraudulent motions to intervene in the case.

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A Facebook photo of Jonathan Lee Riches.
As for who would do such a thing, we received a tip that the culprit might be a self-proclaimed "lawsuit factory" named Jonathan Lee Riches, who it appears also attempted to change his name to James Eagan Holmes and applied to be appointed to the Aurora City Council. In response to a question about why he wanted to be appointed, Riches wrote: "To seek the truth in proving James Eagan Holmes is innocent."

Also released today was a document explaining that Holmes's lawyers will call "an expert in the field of psychiatry" to testify at some point in the case. The expert's name is redacted but Holmes's lawyers describe him as "an advisory witness to the defense."

Another document lists some electronic items seized from Holmes's apartment: a Lenovo computer, NZXT computer tower, Toshiba laptop, iPhone, iPod, LePan Tablet PC, and a PNY Attache USB. It doesn't say what investigators found on those devices, but it does reveal that they also seized an iPhone from a "colleague" of Holmes's at the University of Colorado. The document refers to him as "the witness."

"The Witness agreed to be interviewed," it says, "and also indicated that this Witness had text messages from James Holmes on the Witness' personal cellular telephone."

Continue reading to see the documents referenced in this post.


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