- Congressman: McAuliffe victory means gun control a winning message
- Hillary Clinton aide admits soliciting disgraced D.C. fundraiser; says actions were legal
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Obama goes shopping at Gap as minimum-wage thanks
- N.J. woman charged after client dies from black-market butt injections
- CIA chief Brennan ‘determined’ to speak out more this year
- Reset? What reset? U.S.-Russia ties at worst since Cold War
- 9/11 terror recruiter released in Syrian prisoner swap
- D.C. elections board gives green light to marijuana legalization initiative
- Elephants can tell difference between human languages: study
Prosecutors: Colo. suspect angry over academics
CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) — James Holmes was a promising neuroscience doctoral candidate, but by the end of the program’s first year, he had fallen out of favor with professors and failed a key exam, prosecutors said.
Details of his behavior before he became a suspect in a suburban Denver theater shooting were not released. But it raised enough concerns for campus police to run a background check on Holmes, although University of Colorado spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery declined to elaborate on the reason Thursday.
Prosecutors went before a judge Thursday to seek the school’s records on Holmes, including his application, grades and course schedules, and anything concerning his termination or withdrawal from the school in June. He had failed an oral board exam on June 7, then withdrew from the school three days later.
Holmes faces charges in a July 20 shooting during the new Batman movie that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded.
“What’s going on in the defendant’s life at the time is extremely relevant to this case,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson said of their need for the documents.
Holmes‘ defense lawyer, Daniel King, has said Holmes is mentally ill, setting up a possible insanity defense. But Pearson’s arguments Thursday revealed a possible motive: Holmes‘ anger that he was failing at school, “at the same time he’s buying an enormous amount of ammunition, body armor and explosives.”
A gag order has been issued in the case. Prosecutors argued that gaining access to the school records would establish a motive by showing what Holmes hoped to accomplish at CU and the “dissatisfaction with what occurred in his life that led to this.”
They also want to see records from campus police and a campus threat evaluation team similar to those established across the country after the 2007 Virginia Tech University shootings.
Pearson said that professors had sought to keep Holmes out of their labs and that “professors urged that he find another line of business.” University officials said Holmes lost access to university buildings after his withdrawal because his student access card was shut off, not because of threats.
King objected to the release of the records, arguing that the prosecutors’ request for documents amounted to a “fishing expedition that needs to be stopped.”
In addition to the school records, prosecutors have sought access to a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to university psychiatrist Lynne Fenton. King claims that Holmes had sought out Fenton for help with his mental illness.
School records don’t have the same legal protection as communication between a doctor and patient. Records released by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a school Holmes considered attending, contained a letter of recommendation that said Holmes has “a great amount of intellectual and emotional maturity.”
The dive in Holmes‘ academic performance could be a possible motive, one legal observer said.
“That’s the kind of thing that is classic motivation for a murderer and doesn’t support insanity,” said Craig Silverman, a criminal defense attorney and former Denver prosecutor.
TWT Video Picks
Virginia homosexuals attempt to bully McAuliffe's choice of Jones for party chief
- House Democrats trying to force unemployment insurance vote
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS after months of talks
- Joel Osteen church victimized in $600K theft
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Redskins keeping Santana Moss, agree to terms with two others
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again