It's been over a week since a gunman opened fire on moviegoers catching a midnight showing of the new Batman film at a theater in Aurora, Colo. James Holmes, 24, was arrested by police in the parking lot after he allegedly killed 12 and injured 58, then tipped police off about the booby traps in his explosive-rigged apartment. For a few days the national conversation steered toward gun control, but there were no marks on Holmes' criminal record that would have shown up in a background check to buy a gun. Much of the gun-control conservation, thus, has focused on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. And how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
Holmes' first court appearance last Monday showed a dazed and confused guy, and prison sources told media that he was not on any medication. The defense is claiming in a document filed Friday that Holmes, a neuroscience grad student who reportedly flunked an exam and dropped out shortly before the shooting, was a psychiatric patient before the shootings. More from CNN:
The disclosure was in a request by Holmes for authorities to immediately hand over a package he sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton at the university's Anschutz Medical Campus.
According to Holmes' request, the package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant was a protected communication.
"The materials contained in that package include communications from Mr. Holmes to Dr. Fenton that Mr. Holmes asserts are privileged," said the document filed by public defenders representing Holmes. "Mr. Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected."
In response, prosecutors asked for Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester to deny the request by Holmes, saying it contained inaccuracies including claims of media leaks by government officials that in reality may have been fabricated by news organizations.
A hearing on the request is Monday, along with formal charges against Holmes. Experts agree that he will likely go for an insanity plea. But even if psychotic as many have guessed -- detached from reality -- it will be nearly impossible to prove that he was disconnected during the months of planning the massacre to the point of not knowing right from wrong, as is necessary to win an insanity defense.
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