James Holmes case: Judge lifts gag order related to University of Colorado
The University of Colorado is no longer subject to a gag order related to the case of accused Aurora theater shooter and former student James Holmes. Judge William Sylvester has ruled that it's now up to the university to decide what information to release.
In another motion made public today, attorneys for Holmes said they are "extremely concerned" about his well-being.
In a motion filed late Thursday afternoon (and on view below), Holmes's attorneys said they tried to visit their client at the Arapahoe County Jail at 1 p.m. On Wednesday, they'd successfully requested that a hearing scheduled for Thursday be postponed because Holmes had gone to the hospital. Subsequent reports indicate that he tried to harm himself on three separate occasions Tuesday by banging his head.
When Holmes's attorneys showed up to the jail, they said they were told "they would not be permitted to meet with Mr. Holmes at that time." No explanation was given, they wrote. "Counsel for Mr. Holmes are extremely concerned about the well-being of their client and are currently being denied any information from the jail about his welfare," they wrote.
Judge William Sylvester.
Judge William Sylvester issued a hand-written ruling that same day granting defense attorneys "reasonable access at least once per day" to Holmes. (Read it below.)
As for the lifting of the gag order, Sylvester has ruled that "it is up to the University of Colorado to make determinations regarding the release of information."
"The Court has restricted the release of information for almost four months now," he wrote in a ruling on view below, "giving everyone involved adequate opportunity to prepare for the proper and authorized disclosure to the public."
Media outlets have made more than thirty open records requests to the university, where Holmes was a neuroscience student. The requests ask for staff e-mails regarding Holmes, information about the lab in which he was working and records from the school's Behavioral Assessment and Threat Assessment Team, which Holmes's psychiatrist reportedly alerted about him, among other information.
It's unlikely that the media will get everything it wants. Laws such as the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act dictate which student records can be released.
CU has released a statement saying it will conduct a "careful analysis" of the pending requests and release information as the law allows.
Continue to view the statement and documents referenced above.