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. rad666

    Have to protect the accused's rights.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      If you want a conviction that will hold up to appeals, you certainly do.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Morton

    Doesn't the guy with the orange hair look just like Patrick?

    October 31, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dinny

      He does seem to resemble Dazzle's ex hubby.

      October 31, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Actually, he looks just like JGR. Brfore the nose jobs that he had to try to make him look less,..Jewish.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Hand

      Maybe I'm old, but who are Patrick, Dazzle, and JGR??

      October 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      You may be old Mr. Hand.....but that dosen't change the fact these 3 are having an "inside" conversation that means nothing to anybody else.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wendie

    He has rights? Really? Maybe that is why your system is so screwed up. He undoubtly killed 12 people, I am sorry but at the end of the month he should die. When you have people like him, John Wayne Gacey etc who have killed people then give them 1 month to get their paperwork in order, say goodbye to family and friends and then DEATH. If you have something like O.J. Simpson where you are not 100% sure then ok hold a trial, but come on this guy walked into a theatre and killed innocent people and you can say he has rights.

    October 31, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • DUH

      Yes he has rights!

      October 31, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Sickofhate

      Wrong, Wendie. You are absolutely 100% wrong. In this country you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt and that proof must hold up in a court of law. The man has a right to a trial. Otherwise people will get locked up or executed by mob justice. Which exactly what you are suggesting. We've had that dark time in our history, and our Forefathers got it right.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee-Anne

      Our system is so screwed up? By doing the best so that all people get a fair trial we do better than most systems. Even here a trial is needed to determine whether he is just a criminal with the normal craziness that goes with it or truly insane. What country do you live in? Let's see what better system you have.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      Ummm... yeah, he's got rights. The right to due process and a fair trial is huge, and denying it to any American citizen is grounds for a revolution.

      I'm not even kidding. I was extraordinarily upset that the U.S. government sent a drone after a U.S. citizen, regardless of any sort of terrorist connection. That's the equivalent of sending an assassin after your own people. Once we take away the rights of due process and a fair trial by peer, we are open to being killed by law without ever knowing why.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • daremonai

      Well, that is kinda the point of something being a 'right'.. everyone gets them.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • DBHouston

      Just too bad it didn't happen here in Texas. If a heinous crime is witnessed by 3 or more credible witnesses, the convicted person gets a free trip to the head of the execution line. There is no appeal, period.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I totally agree with the other people. Yes, we know he did it and feel that he should be convicted asap, but the problem is that humans are just manipulative and destructive monsters.

      There are a plethora of cases where people were convicted immediately and punished just by what a group of people said (Salem witch trials for instance).

      There are a plethora of cases where people who are given authority, power and trust abuse it (for instance: In Mexico the majority of police there are known for citing you for anything and threaten to throw you in jail unless you bribe them).

      There are many cases where people AND people with authority, power and trust will gang up on an individual or group of people (for instance: cops bribed to plant evidence).

      There are many cases where the evidence is fake or altered and can easily be passed as acceptable (forging signatures, similar looking person in a picture posing as someone else, photoshop, etc.).

      There are many cases where sane people have been found guilty but plead insane (I don't think I need an example here).

      This is why the judge and jury must be unbiased and not know the person. This is why everyone has the right to an attorney. This is why everyone has the right to take their case from one court to another court higher up in the system. You may be able to trust your family or friends with your life, but the person next to you won't. There's no 100% for sure way of telling who is at fault and who is innocent, but we do the best with what we've got. Right now it's the current legal system we have.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Snoop

      Our system is a lot better than most of Europe's.. Holmes, when inevitably found guilty by a jury trial and all appeals are done, will either be executed or will spend life in prison without the possiblity of parole.

      Anders Breivik, on the other hand, after killing 80 people, will likely serve no more than 20-25 years and then will be set free.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Reid

      Wendie, we all have those same rights, however personally i prefer not to have to exercise my right to a fair trial, or my right not to have deal with cruel and uniusual punishment, when someone is indicted, arrested, etc. they dont have more rifghts than any of the rest of us, however they are now presented with the opportunity to begin exercising their rights.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Coop

      There's a possibility that the judge doesn't want anything to interfere with judgement,
      so he's dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's.

      In the end, this idiot is toast and he knows it.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real Justice

      It's so easy to make a judgement when you don't have all the facts. The media (paid and directed by other higher powers) didn't report all the facts: 911 originally reported there were more than 1 shooter, by eye witnesses; another shooter dressed in black, also came in the theatre from the other side (with a black mask); this guy (patsy) worked with a government agency speciallizing in Mind Control (drugs, hypnosis, etc...); Possible Motive?: Get U.S. citizens mentally prepared to carry out the U.N.'s goal of disarming the world from gun rights. Research it now before we have the internet policed (like China) and controlled.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Execute Him

      I agree he should already be gone. He killed all of those people. This is not a case of IF he did it. He did do it. Execute him and let the shrinks write books or whatever they want later. He no longer deserves to live.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zee705

      Wendie, the type of justice you're looking for can be found in certain areas of Afghanistan. When you get there, ask where you can find a group called the Taliban, they share a similar doctrine to yours.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      For the very same reason YOU have rights, we all should have our day in court and have our liberties protected. You would NOT be singing the same tune if you were on trial for such crimes, espeically if you were innocent. There are far too many people who have sat in prison and on death row only to be released years later after DNA or other evidence showed they were not guilty. Our system is flawed, but its' the best one out there. I for one would rather not execute the wrong person, because simply put it just might be you.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Larry Stokes

    Remember Alex and his widow.
    We are hopeful she doesn't get scammed out of her share of the money by
    relatives.
    Money is definately the root of all evils

    October 31, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mobes

      Money is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is that root.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Avery

      Not true, some people are just evil by nature and enjoy watching the world burn.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. whoCares

    I am surprised that this guy is still alive, after all this happened in the Denver area and the police there like to shoot first (or beat the s out of you) and ask later. This guy would have deserved it and it would save us a lot of tax payer dollars.

    October 31, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. lindaluttrell

    Sorry for the victims' families on this one. Sounds like this judge is not willing to risk anything going wrong before the trial begins. Good for him!

    October 31, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scrutinizer8

      Hiding the real facts, that's the purpose of sealing records.

      There's no reason for Holmes court case and trial to be anything other than TRANSPARENT.

      If they have a real case against him and can prove it, then there is no reason, literally NO REASON that we shouldn't be able to see it. If on the other hand they don't have a real case, then they can just seal the records and continue. Abuse of power, obviously.

      The Truth WILL come out... and it's very possible that Holmes becomes the new name associated with the word "patsy."

      October 31, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Lynda Elaine

      The victim's families don't have any rights whatsoever to see any evidence. has nothing to do with hiding anything. They simply don't have the right. In fact they shouldn't have asked to see them. If some attorney put them up to it, then he is milking their fees because he knows better. The only people with the right to see any evidence before the trial are the two sides attorneys. Period.

      Being a victim doesn't give you some kind of right during a trial. In fact I disagree with the impact statements before sentencing. Aferwards find, not that it makes a whit of difference, but feelings and the impact on your life have nothing to do with sentencing. nor should they.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andy

    What a STUPID judge!!!!!!

    The guy was SEEN at the cinema - he is as GUILTY as hell. He has NO RIGHT to a "fair" trial. Just to be locked up.

    Sod you, judge!! Oh, and I see you're too cowardly to have your name posted. Idiot – so sue me, judgey, if you can't take this comment.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andy

      Ah, just saw that the IDIOT's name is Mr SYLVESTER. Sod you, judge – senile old git!

      Consider yourself named and shamed for not giving VICTIMS their right and championing a murderer.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • logic56

      I love the people who want to decide who gets a trial and who doesn't.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      The judge is looking out for the victim's not championing a murder. If he does not ensure this guy gets a fair trial he ensures that he gets set free and that would be an injustice. Everyone absolutely knows he did this and that's why it is imperative that our justice system follows all the rules, which is exactly what this judge is doing. When he is finished following the rules James Holmes will either be locked up for life or put to death. So really you should be thanking this judge for ensuring that justice is served.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Vicki D.

      Pot calling the kettle black, with the use of the word "stupid". Andy, read a mother truckin' book, mmkay?

      October 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clete

      The legal system in the United States make the assumption that a person is innocent until proven quilty in a court of law. In order for that to happen evidence has to be presented during the trial...not in the media. Do I think he is quilty...yes, but no matter how hideous the crime, he still has the right to a fair trial, not a lynching in the media and especially by some of the posters who seem to want to deny the right of trial granted to all Americans.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Capt Nemo

    I believe we will find that this guy was crumbling into schizophrenia over the last few months before the attack, that the doctors he saw did everything they could to help him (perhaps including medications), that the guy left the doctors against medical advice and without treatment in place, and that he then finished crumbling and snapped. Same thing happened to my cousin, same thing happens quite commonly with schizophrenics: they look fine until their mid-20s then they fall apart fast, sometimes into chaotic bursts of violence.

    What this situation tells me is that the US needs a third option (along with not guilty and guilty) in verdicts: "guilty but insane". That is, you did it while you were crazy so we'll keep you in a secure mental health facility until it is apparent you can be 1) released if no longer a danger to self or others 2) kept there forever or 3) put in prison if that's where you need to be, medicated or not.

    The saddest part of all this is that to the poor schizoid shooter, this all made perfect sense. People who are truly out there in schizophrenia often don't think they have a problem, which is why lots of them fall through the cracks: they don't seek help as they don't think they're in trouble or they won't take their meds because they believe their delusions make sense.

    My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones, but also to the poor madman who didn't get the help he needed when he needed it before he exploded and injured innocent people.

    October 31, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy©

      Schizophrenia is an insidious disease, and sadly, most people do not recognize that for the diagnosed schizophrenic, their perception of "normal" is anything but.
      I agree that there should be a third verdict, "guilty, but insane", but that part of sentence include treatment at a secure facility, with the remainder of the sentence to be served in prison, should the person ever be deemed well enough to serve it there.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Vicki D.

      @Banasy – Agreed!

      October 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      Perhaps it was Holmes' schizophrenia that caused MULTIPLE witnesses to say very clearly that there was more than one shooter. Perhaps it was Holmes' schizophrenia that caused MULTIPLE witnesses to say very clearly that gas canisters were thrown from both sides of the theater simultaneously.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrutinizer8

      @ Banasy

      They did give descriptions...the other shooter was dressed in paramilitary gear, same as James Holmes.

      The question still remains...since multiple witnesses are saying that they are positive there was more than one shooter, HOW can the official story (story being the operative word) be that James Holmes acted alone?!

      Answer: Because they want James Holmes to be a "lone gunman" and quickly rush to judgment so they can sweep this all up and be done with it.

      Re: Conspiracies keep folks entertained

      They sure do... there are so many of them! Glad you said actual conspiracies as opposed to conspiracy THEORIES, which are something different.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hide Behind

    Read whaatwords "in the matter of" and who oro rathee what is bring charges.
    As to why evidence is not in open.for one thing Grand Jury decides, this involves Federal who are trying to not be involved and want an airtight case with the least amount of ec
    vidennce introduced.
    Many facets suchas would university be liable Who act
    ually saw in a darkened theater oh instant mass hysteria accused until long after the crine commited and why instant fed involvement they deny saying they were called in at later time. DSHS n charge almost immediate.
    It is not just witness reports sealed in this case.
    As in many cases today the legal system steers the procedures towards a predetermined conclusion by exclusiin.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Daniel

    Good for the judge. Eevn a guy like this has a right to fair trial. We live in a great country and people died for those rights.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jarred A. Burr

    No, Wendie is absolutely right. Take him out and shoot him like a sick dog. He should not have rights, he should not have the privledge to breath, he is useless and needs to be exterminated like a roach.

    October 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bronx N.Y.

    Why are we even wasting time with this piece of misery!!! To the gallows I say!!!

    October 31, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. JOtts

    To all of you clowns that are arguing for this pile to have a fair trial and exercise his "rights"-
    Have you been in a prison? Inmates are treated better than citizens with the exception of having boundaries to move in. They have free treatment, health care, cable television, jobs, apprenticeships...this is the correctional system and it is YOUR tax dollars keeping these heinous people alive instead of taking an eye-for-an-eye stance. Texas has the correctional system figured out. This clown will likely spend life in a prison getting all the help he needs, on your dime none-the less. Enjoy!

    October 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Ginger

    Yea he has rights, a right to die. A room full of people saw him do this horrible act. Why does there have to be another 10 or 12 with the name Jurors to have him put a way or put down. Total waste of tax dollars. I agree with Texas, you have 3 eyewitnesses its done. Quit wasting money on this circus.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JOtts

      Outstanding reply.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JOtts

    Did the murdered people have their rights taken care of? Cold-Blooded killer, mentally ill or not.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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