James Holmes case: DA brushes off call for sanctions, suing victims denied theater access

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James Holmes.
Today, three new documents were released in the case of accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes pertaining to a pair of controversies -- defense attorneys' call for sanctions against prosecutors for allegedly lying about Holmes being banned from the Anschutz Medical Campus, and a request from three shooting survivors suing the theater's owner to access the auditorium where he opened fire. Get details and see the documents below.

In covering an August 23 hearing, our Melanie Asmar wrote the following:

Suspected Aurora theater shooter James Holmes was banned from the University of Colorado in June after he made threats that were reported to the campus police, prosecutors said in court today. That month, he also failed his oral board exams, was told by professors that he should perhaps find a different path and began to withdraw from the school's neuroscience program.
She elaborated on this information with an allusion to prosecutor Karen Pearson:
Pearson said Holmes wasn't doing well in school and suggested that he wasn't living up to his own academic expectations. She said he failed his oral exams on June 7, which she said was "very much relevant to what happened afterward" -- including that Holmes bought guns and ammunition and rigged his apartment with explosives. Pearson said CU shut off Holmes's ID card after he made threats, but she didn't go into detail.
Shortly thereafter, CU spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery stepped forward to dispute this account. She told us Holmes hadn't actually been banned from campus for making threats. Rather, his access to portions of the campus not open to the general public had been nixed because he was in the process of withdrawing from the neuroscience program.

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Photo by Melanie Asmar
Carol Chambers speaks to the media after a previous hearing.
Holmes's attorneys later asked Judge William Sylvester to sanction the district attorneys' office for what it termed "reckless disregard for the truth" for these statements. But in a newly released response, DA Carol Chambers simply shrugs off the charge. "The People believe" that the pleading "is too vague a document to prepare an actual response," the filing reads. Reasons listed include:

• It "does not specify the particular extra-judicial statement (or statements) that are allegedly at issue."

• It "does not identify who the defense is alleging actually made the alleged extra-judicial statement (or statements)."

• It does not indicate whether the defense is alleging whether it believes that the extra-judicial statement (or statements) about which it is complaining is factually accurate, inaccurate, or a combination of both."

Hence, writes Chambers, "the People are unable to respond to the vague allegations set forth" in the document.

Will this be the last word on this subject? The answer, almost certainly, is "no."

Continue to read about responses involving victims' lawsuits and see the newly released documents.


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