James Holmes's lawyers ask to delay hearing, say media requests are "beginning to interfere"
James Holmes's lawyers are asking to postpone a hearing set for October 25 because they need more time to prepare.
One of the main reasons given for this request involves the amount of time it takes to deal with media requests that additional information be made public.
Issues on the hearing's agenda include argument over who "leaked" information to the media about a package sent by Holmes to his psychiatrist, the status of open records requests made by the media to the University of Colorado, where Holmes was a student, and whether to publicly release victims' names, another media request. Holmes's lawyers say such requests are "beginning to interfere."
"The amount of time, effort and resources the defense is devoting to responding to the media's demands for information are beginning to interfere with the defense's ability to perform its obligation to provide constitutionally effective representation to Mr. Holmes," they wrote in a motion on view below.
At a hearing on October 11, prosecutors and defense attorneys argued against releasing victims' names, which have been redacted from court documents. Prosecutor Lisa Teesch-Maguire said victims are afraid of being harassed and cited the case of Javad Marshall-Fields, a witness in a murder case who was killed in 2005 along with his fiancee, Vivian Wolfe, as a reason to keep the names secret.
Defense attorney Daniel King accused media lawyer Steve Zansberg, who is arguing to release the names, of talking about the victims "as if they are cannon fodder."
On October 12, Judge William Sylvester decided to delay ruling on the issue and asked prosecutors, defense attorneys and Zansberg to submit further written argument by October 22 as to why or why not the information should be released.
Holmes's lawyers say they plan to do so but "counsel is simultaneously in the process of conducting important investigation, attempting to read and digest over 18,000 pages of discovery, researching and preparing to litigate upcoming legal issues, and responding to pleadings filed by additional third parties outside of this case," they wrote in their motion. Those responsibilities and the "short time frame" will make it impossible for them to prepare for all the issues on tap on October 25, they added.
Sylvester has not yet ruled. Read the defense's motion below.