Colorado judge denies victims access to Aurora theater rampage documents
Police say James Holmes killed 12 people during a shooting at a movie theater in Colorado.
October 31st, 2012
02:49 AM ET

Colorado judge denies victims access to Aurora theater rampage documents

A judge  has said no to a motion that would have allowed victims of the Aurora theater shooting to look at sealed court documents.

James Holmes is accused of opening fire July 20 in Aurora during a midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." The rampage left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

Victims were seeking access to court documents and 911 calls.

Releasing the information would "jeopardize defendant’s right to a fair trial," a judge in the case said Tuesday.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • U.S.
soundoff (148 Responses)
  1. angela birch

    Reasonable to me. A judge wants the trial to go correctly with no reason for a mistrial or for the case to be overturned on appeal. The victims will eventiually get the information but at this stage it is important for the trial to be clean.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Correct. A very reasonable decision. We don't want this to become the circus the George Zimmerman thing in Florida became. Their lawsuits against the theatre are just going to have to wait.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • WWRRD

      This crime happened on July 20th. There is zero doubt he did it. We need to speed up our justice system. He should have been tried, and executed by now. Being caught in act isn't guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it is certain guilt.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • DecentShadow

      @ WWRRD The system is flawed when you are on the out side looking in but when/if you are going through the criminal justice system you would be very thankful for how it is set up. It allows you the chance to have a fair trail of your peers no matter what crime and i for one am thankful for the protection that we have through the system. If we start cutting out the safe guards for one person even though we believe they are guilty what happens if we cut out all the safe guards for someone who is not guilty. His day will come no matter if it is tomorrow or in a year.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Wow, surprised to see such reactionary drivel.

      Holmes has appeared doped out of his mind in every court appearance. Somebody surely doesn't want him being able to coherently represent himself. That's point ONE.

      Holmes (appointed) psychiatrist is noted for a connection to military mind-control programs. That's point TWO.

      Witnesses say there were more than one shooter, yet the "official story" still says only Holmes. That's point THREE.

      Witnesses also say that gas canisters were flung from BOTH sides of the auditorium simultaneously, which is a good trick for a lone psycho to pull off. That's point FOUR.

      An additional, different style gas mask was found outside the theater some distance away from where Holmes was apprehended, which is interesting that one man would need multiple gas masks. That's point FIVE.

      No, rather than sealing away the records for this (soon to be travesty of justice), it would be in the best interests of everyone (see, even the VICTIMS want to know the REAL STORY) and in the best interests of Truth and justice for these records to be open... yet, since Holmes is obviously a patsy in something much larger, of course everything will be sealed.

      Still, the surprising part is all the people who comment though they have only a superficial (ie. media-fed) understanding of all of the evidence. If the judge in this case has his way, this will be all that anyone EVER knows.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Fair Enough


      3 months is reasonable time. In India, Kasab murdered 200+ Indians, and he was caught on television, and he has acknowledged doing the same. It has been 4 years, and, it is probably going to take another 15 years for him to be actually punished. That is atrociously unreasonable.

      We have a good system here, and we need to appreciate it. It is human nature to complain, but, please don't castigate the system for the sake of venting out frustration.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. mmi16

    Victims are looking for evidence in their $$$$$$$$$$$$ Civil Trial. They have no need of it until the Criminal Trial is completed. The Criminal Trial must have priority over any Civil trails.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. DoItJudge

    Wish they would let this dude out and into the hands of the waiting public. Would love to be the one to torture this man to death id do it on YOUTUBE and raise my bond money LOL. Id carve the jokers makeup into his face and see how he li kes it. Then id start slicing this guy from the feet up with one of those little meat shavers they use at arbys and record his screams and play them back to him through headphones I superglued to his head directly on the cuts from where his ears were because id have already cut them off and fed them to him. OHHHHH i wish i could be the one to torture this POS

    October 31, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Merlin

      It are those such as you that would erode the very foundations of justice. Shall we go back to witch burning and inquisitions? What you seek is not justice, but vengeance.

      I find it disconcerting you could dream of doing such things to a fellow human being. You are indeed a vile person, at least Holmes did not torture his victims, but you have said yourself you would relish in his pain. We cannot repay blood for blood. Let me be clear that the scales of justice do not sway to your petty emotions. And that if you did perform such an account as described, that you would be held just as accountable for your crimes, and rightfully so.

      No, Holmes is not a "POS". He is mentally ill and depraved to have performed such a terrible act, but you sir, are just the same, perhaps worse. Willing to cast aside equality and fairness that people have fought for over centuries just to satisfy some emotional need of revenge.

      I pray that you find psychological help.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Wow!!! You sound like you'll eventually become his cellmate, one way or another. Have you considered talking with a good psychiatrist? If it doesn't save your life, it might at least save someone else's.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      In a few years should we can expect to see you in the picture next to a public defendant lawyer.

      October 31, 2012 at 6:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan1423

      You my friend need help. Just reading your account of the pain you would inflict on Holmes in such intricate detail disturbs me very much.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JellyBean

      WTH? It's way too early for this kind crap.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Juan Carlos Queipo

      Sounds like a cry for help !!! SWAT Team move in !!!

      October 31, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • NightOps

      @Merlin: Holme's IS a POS. I'm not sure how you could even dispute this. I would reason that almost anyone that committed murder is mentally disturbed. He isn't even bothering to seek forgiveness in this, and I highly doubt he can be restored to society. He's a burden on society, and I, for one, do NOT want my tax dollars going to some freak who decided to kill a bunch of random people in a movie theater.

      I applaud any of the victims or their families who are able to truly forgive this monster – that takes a tremendous amount of grace, since Holmes definitely does NOT deserve it.

      Don't buy the "insanity" plea that is bound to follow. In all honesty, the death penalty might be merciful. If they send him to something other than an asylum or solitary he will probably end up getting killed.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Dolt is a good name for you.

      You don't want to be also want to be jury and executioner.

      Please don't reproduce.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeopardize?

    Is it "Jeaopardy" or it it just another mistreated patient?
    "Aurora Shooter" or patient diagnosed as bi-polar and prescribed meds not FDA approved for the treatment of bipolarism?
    "Domestic Violence" or 3% of all active troops being prescribed meds not approved by the FDA for the treatment of PTSD?
    Find out and then decide what your opinion is.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeopardize?

    However, whether or not a person is under the influence of alcohol at the time a crime is committed, that person is still a criminal to be prosecuted. Ditto individuals who committ a crime while under the influence of an MD's prescribed drugs, as was the Aurora Shooter.
    Neither booze nor drugs are an excuse for crimes.
    Saying 'Sorry, your honor. I was drunk at the time' will not get your charges dropped nor will trying to blame your crime on whatever prescription drugs you are on.
    A criminal is a criminal no matter how you look at it.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      And what if the drugs were forced on him?

      Still have the same, pat, answers???

      Look at him in his court appearances. Someone most certainly does NOT want him coherent at his own trial.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeopardize?

    Yes. We will accept your "innocent by means of insanity" plea, but only if it wasn't your prescription drugs that drove you to insanity. For if we were to declare you legally insane and you WERE under the influence of presciption drugs that drove you to insanity, we would have to prosecute your presciption writers as accomplices.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • modman

      that's stupid.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeopardize?

    ...and that's just what our Justice Department is doing. (prosecuting prescription writers as accomplices)
    As reported on CNN a couple of months ago, over 100 prescription writers and assitants were arrested by the FBI operating a drug ring whereby patients were being overdosed for profit. Doctors in six different cities were arrested in the largest drug bust of it's kind ever made by the FBI.
    Drugmoney MD's be warned.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Limg Cho

    That guy really doesn't look "right". Maybe that is part of his attorney's plan for an insanity plea.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • modman

      Really Sherlock? Do you think?

      October 31, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Re: "...that guy doesn't look right..."

      No, I don't think he looks right either... he looks MK Ultra'd to the maximum.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. chad

    This guy killed 12 people. Sucks for the family and the victims, but why is this such a big deal? Government's are the real mass murderer's. In fact that is their only real purpose, to wage war. Why do we accept from our leader's what we wouldn't accept from anyone else? Is it because it happens in another country and it isn't Americans dying? What makes an American life more relevant than the life of a woman or child in Europe or the Middle East?

    October 31, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      How can you compare mass killings in the event of a declared war, where countries are fighting to protect, to a killing in a movie theater? Did those in the theater know that war had been declared on them? Are the movie goers the ones who declared war?

      I respect that you don't agree with the US being engaged in the Middle East wars but, I don't see 1) how you can compare the two and 2) implying that it is okay for domestic murders to take place because the US is involved with that war.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Vad

      Government's only real purpose is to wage war? Although I agree that Government is by no means perfect they have more benefit than that. The roads you drive to work, (well, you likely sit at home collecting Government assistance while bashing the Government) the Post Office that delivers the mail to your bunker, schools for your kids, (yours are likely kept home and indoctrinated against Government) building codes, minimum wage, unemployment, on and on and on. You are an example of the many spoiled children who say they never get anything from their Government. Try getting a job and contributing. Maybe you'll feel better.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • NightOps

      Bah, horrible side-step. Stay on topic. You don't like the government? Fine...but don't bother posting under a story about a mass-murderer.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Why is this such a big deal?? Really? He walked into a theater and killed 12 people! I'm sure if it was your significant other, child, parent, friend, etc. that was killed, you'd be singing a different tune. And comparing what he did to war? Come on, not the time or place for that argument. I'm not even saying you're wrong, but it's apples and oranges dude. Come on.

      October 31, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Re: "Government's are the real mass murderer's."

      100% correct.

      The largest threat to any of us, verifiable throughout history, is DEMOCIDE... death by government.

      More than terrorism...more than dangerous disease...more than war-time casualties...more than drunk driving...more than lung cancer...more than heart disease... more than all person-on-person crime... more than ALL OF THESE PUT TOGETHER IS THE THREAT OF GOVERNMENT TO THE INDIVIDUAL.

      Think about that. It's not by accident.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Canada: America's Hat

      I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over your misplaced possessives.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. please grow up

    The judge in the Trayvon trial has agreed to release school records and such to the defense.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Darth Mortis

      Yes, to the defense. Not to the victims families who are preparing for a civil trial for financial compensation that they will never be able to collect.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. river

    i hear some reports that there was more than one shooter. This would go along with that story, if its being covered up.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan I

      And i've heard reports that space aliens are mutilating cows. There are always "reports" (read: rumors and conspiracy theories).

      October 31, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Don't let Dan I deter you, river.

      Yes, witnesses, ie. people that were actually there, have said there was more than one shooter AND that gas canisters were thrown simultaneously from both sides of the theater. When we add that a second gas mask was found some distance from where Holmes was apprehended, and we have an obvious "operation" and a "patsy."

      Dan I can try to take these FACTS and make them sound like some conspiracy theory...but remember, the stated observation of witnesses that were actually there are worth 10,000,000 Dan I nimrods trying to obfuscate the Truth.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff

    That's not his real hair. He just has it fixed that way because today is Halloween.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Your right about the hair...but that picture of him was taken when he first appeared in court. He was mimicking a character out of the Batman movie!

      October 31, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Tony, do you know what the word joke means?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justen Joyzer

      I think Jeff was using sarcasm. Eesh!

      October 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beavis

    Shooting squad.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cora LDS

    With today being Halloween and a national holiday we should've focusing on more positive things. This is Trick-or-Treat Day. We need to try and keep today positive. Do it for the children.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Yes, for goodness sake, let's not let the fate of another human being and all the discrepancies in this case in any way interfere with some pagan death-ritual or prevent kids from getting all the cavities they "need."

      Thanks, Cora LDS for being the voice of reason.... ACK!!!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dan I

    Perfectly reasonable decision, the last thing the judge wants are grounds for an appeal. The victims will get their access after the trial is over.

    As for the whole "Why hasn't this guy just been shot yet?" arguments. Well that is in order to protect YOUR rights. Yes there is virtually no doubt of this guy's guilt, in fact, pleading insanity is an admission that he committed the acts.

    The point though is that, even in cases as certain as this, we still follow procedure. We make NO allowances based on the perceived "certainty of guilt" because once we open the door to shirking procedure it becomes easier and easier. It might seem fine to just take this guy and forgo a trial, but we do NOT want to open that door.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • mklsgl

      Per Colorado state law, the judge made the correct ruling for criminal procedure. However, once the criminal case is over, the victims will likely file Civil suit, and under Colorado's Civil Law, they will be able to access those sealed records.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Tebojockey

      Very well stated, Dan!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralph M

      Once a basic right is taken away, we will never get it back.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • photogrrl

      I agree with Tebojockey–very well stated, Dan I.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Absolutely correct, Dan. Unfortunately, this country is sliding away from the concept of "innocent until proven guilty." People more readily accept whatever the media and government tells us about a person's innocence or guilt. This is clearly seen in reaction to high profile cases such as this and the public's allowance of PATRIOT, National Defense Authorization Act and similar legislation specifically designed to rescind our judicial protections.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
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