Report: Psychiatrist tried to discuss Holmes

Published 2:56 pm Thursday, August 2, 2012

A University of Colorado psychiatrist whose clients included the former student accused of the Aurora theater shooting reportedly tried to discuss the man with members of a campus behavioral and security committee about a month before the attack but the group never convened.

KMGH-TV, citing sources it did not identify, reported Wednesday that psychiatrist Lynne Fenton telephoned some members of the team about graduate student James Holmes in early June. It wasn’t known what Fenton reportedly wanted to discuss, the station said.

Holmes dropped out of the university on June 10. He was arraigned Monday on charges of killing 12 people and wounding 58 at an Aurora movie theater on July 20.

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KMGH, citing unnamed sources, reported that campus officials did not contact Aurora police before July 20 and that the committee didn’t meet to discuss Holmes because he began the process to drop out of the school.

The university said Wednesday it could not discuss the report, citing a court order barring the school from releasing details about Holmes’ yearlong tenure there.

The university did confirm that Fenton was a member of a campus Behavior Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, composed of faculty and staff, including campus police. The team was created to address behavioral problems as well as potential security issues involving members of the campus community.

Fenton couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, and it was not known if she had an attorney. Members of the university team didn’t return telephone messages seeking comment.

On Friday, Holmes’ attorneys filed a motion that revealed Holmes was seeing Fenton. The revelation raised questions about Holmes’ year of study at the university’s medical campus and about possible motives behind the shooting.

However, a court clerk later blacked out that portion of the document and reposted the redacted document online because of a judge’s order to seal documents in the case. State Court administrator spokesman Rob McCallum declined to say if anyone directly involved in the case ordered the redactions.

The defense motion demanded that a package allegedly sent to Fenton by Holmes, and received at the university after the shooting, be kept sealed because of doctor-patient confidentiality. It also demanded information on who may have leaked information about its contents to some news media outlets that reported _ without named sources _ that Holmes had written descriptions of an attack in a notebook.

Arapahoe County District Attorney Carol Chambers disputed reports that a notebook contained descriptions of an attack.

District Chief Judge William Sylvester has sealed all court orders, search warrants, affidavits and the case file.

A hearing on the defense motion is set for Aug. 16.