Judge unseals Aurora theater shooter's psychiatric reports

Posted at 7:38 AM, Jul 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-03 09:38:35-04

AURORA, Colo. – In the weeks before a University of Colorado graduate student killed 12 and injured 70 in an Aurora movie theater, a campus psychiatrist wrote that he had been hostile toward her but had made no threats and had no history of violence, according to the doctor’s notes obtained by The Denver Post through a legal petition.

In handwritten notes from May 1, 2012, Dr. Lynne Fenton wrote that convicted shooter James Holmes was silent and sullen but said he was “good” when asked how he was doing. The psychiatrist also asked Holmes about how he reacted after she mistakenly wrote the wrong last name on his prescription.

“He very reluctantly says his ‘fists’ (the q’s) & punching me in the eye ‘violence — is that what you needed to hear,'” Fenton wrote of his response to her questioning.

Fenton’s notes and the reports of two other psychiatrists who examined Holmes were made public for the first time late last week when former 18th Judicial District Chief Judge Carlos Samour unsealed them. Samour unsealed the documents after The Denver Post filed a motion to release them. The release was the last official act of Samour as a district court judge in Arapahoe County, where he presided over the theater-shooting trial in 2015. On Monday, he was sworn in as a Colorado Supreme Court justice.

The other documents released included sanity evaluations written by Dr. Jeffrey L. Metzner and Dr. William H. Reid, psychiatrists who evaluated Holmes in the months leading up to his death penalty trial. Holmes had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and the two evaluations were meant to prove whether or not he was competent to stand trial.

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