James Holmes case: Will U.S. Supreme Court weigh in on whether Fox reporter should testify?
Attorneys for Aurora theater shooter James Holmes have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to compel Fox News reporter Jana Winter to reveal her sources in court. Specifically, they're asking the high court to overturn a New York appeals court ruling that Winter, who is based in New York, is protected by that state's shield law. Holmes's attorneys want to know who violated a gag order in the case by speaking to Winter about the alleged contents of a notebook that Holmes mailed to a psychiatrist before the shooting.
To recap, Winter wrote a story on July 25, 2012 -- five days after the theater shooting -- that quoted unnamed law enforcement sources as saying that Holmes mailed a notebook "full of details about how he was going to kill people" to University of Colorado psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton. Holmes's defense attorneys subsequently subpoenaed Winter in an attempt to learn the identity of those sources. Fox News vowed to "vigorously defend" Winter -- and has done so. In an affidavit, Winters detailed how the subpoena had affected her personally and professionally, noting that the situation has caused her more fear than the times that she had a gun pointed at her head and was chased with a chainsaw.
Thus far, Winter has not been ordered to take the stand. In December 2012, several law enforcement officials who handled the notebook testified at a hearing that they did not leak any information about the notebook's contents to the press.
In a notice filed this week (it's on view below), Judge Carlos Samour, the jurist handling Holmes's criminal case, chided the attorneys who filed the Supreme Court appeal (also shared here) -- who, it should be noted, are different from Holmes's public defenders. Samour pointed out that while one of his orders was attached to the petition as an appendix -- with his signature, no less -- "it is not an accurate copy of the Court's order."
Andy Cross/Denver Post Judge Carlos Samour in court in June 2013.
"It appears that the Order was retyped -- presumably to comply with the Supreme Court's format requirements. In the process, however, several words were inadvertently omitted and typographical errors were committed. Since Appendix E purports to be an accurate copy of the Court's order, the Court felt compelled to issue this Notice."
In other words, nobody autocorrects Judge Carlos Samour. Nobody.
Samour also issued several orders this week related to motions filed by the defense and the prosecution, which is seeking the death penalty against Holmes.
Continue to read about Samour's orders.