Judge: Holmes prosecutors can see mental records

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Associated Press

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 3 at 3:02 PM

DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting case are entitled to see the records they're seeking about defendant James Holmes' mental health, but not other medical records, the judge has ruled.

In a ruling made public Thursday, Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said prosecutors can have the mental health records they want from the state mental hospital, where Holmes underwent a court-ordered sanity evaluation, and from the University of Colorado, Denver, where Holmes was treated by a psychiatrist while he was an undergraduate.

Prosecutors cannot have other medical records that don't pertain to Holmes' mental health, Samour said.

Prosecutors had sought all of Holmes' medical and mental health records from the hospital and the university.

None of the records has been made public. The judge issued an order forbidding anyone from disclosing the contents of the state hospital files in court or in any filings without the judge's permission.

Holmes is accused of fatally shooting 12 people and injuring 70 during a midnight showing of a Batman movie in a suburban Denver theater in July 2012.

He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes' trial is set to begin in February. The attorneys and the judge are working their way through hundreds of pretrial motions, with oral arguments on some of them scheduled to start Monday.

Separately, news organizations including The Associated Press urged the judge to reject a request by Holmes' lawyers to limit public access to documents in the case.

The defense asked the judge to keep secret all transcripts from proceedings in open court and the register of actions, a daily and weekly list of all the events and document filings in the case. The defense also asked the judge to order the clerk's office to stop posting documents online.

In a filing made public Thursday, an attorney for the news organizations argued the public has a constitutional right to see court records. The media attorney also said that Holmes' lawyers haven't justified the limits they are seeking.

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Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP .

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