James Holmes case: Read letters that his defense team sent to victims
Prosecutors in the Aurora theater shooting case deny that they are discouraging victims from talking to lawyers for gunman James Holmes. In a recent motion (on view below), they claim they've told victims they're free to speak with Holmes's lawyers if they choose -- though they add that some victims have balked at the defense's attempts to contact them. Prosecutors say several victims have become upset by such contacts and have asked them to intervene in order to stop Holmes's defense team from sending them letters. But prosecutors say it's not their place to do so.
Andy Cross/Denver Post
Prosecutors are responding to a motion filed by Holmes's attorneys in June that accuses them of sabotaging the defense's credibility with the victims. As proof, Holmes's attorneys pointed to an e-mail sent by prosecutor Lisa Teesch-Maguire in May. The e-mail, they argue, implied that Holmes's defense team isn't to be trusted and that defense efforts to contact victims have been "to manipulate, trick and lie" to them.
But prosecutors say that's not true. They claim they've repeatedly told victims it's normal for the defense to reach out to them and that Holmes's lawyers are just doing their jobs. "Needless to say, even this response from the District Attorney's Office further distressed some of the victims in the case," prosecutors write in their motion, "because they had hoped that the District Attorney's Office would help stop these defense communications that were causing some of the victims additional anguish."
Andy Cross/Denver Post James Holmes and defense attorney Daniel King in court in June 2013.
The defense communications include a letter (on view below) that Holmes's attorneys sent to victims in November 2012, four months after the shooting that left twelve people dead and seventy wounded. In it, Holmes's lawyers invited victims to contact them with questions or "to let us know if we ever offend you." The letter ended with this: "With the holiday season coming upon us, we realize that this could be an especially painful time for you and your family. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time."
Continue for more on how Holmes's attorneys have contacted victims.