Pyschiatrist Lynne Fenton reached out to the University of Colorado threat assessment team with concerns over James Holmes, pictured above, in early June.
Pool photo by RJ Sangosti/Getty Images.
UPDATE: Attorneys for accused mass murderer James Holmes told a Colorado judge Thursday that their client is mentally ill and they need more time to assess the nature of his illness, Associated Press reports.
The disclosure came in a hearing in a Colorado courtroom, where news media were asking a judge to unseal documents related to the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater that left 12 dead and scores more injured. The AP notes that "Holmes had the same dazed demeanor that he has had in previous court appearances."
Defense attorney Daniel King told the judge that his team needs more info from prosecutors and investigators before they can "begin to assess the nature and depth of Mr. Holmes' mental illness."
Tuesday, August 7: The psychiatrist treating suspected Aurora gunman James Holmes was so concerned about her patient’s behavior that she contacted University of Colorado police six weeks before the shooting, ABC News reports.
Dr. Lynne Fenton became so alarmed with the 24-year-old Ph.D. candidate in early June that she contacted campus police and reached out to the chairman of the university’s Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, Denver’s ABC7-TV reported.
ABC News did not know how the officer responded to the information but confirmed that the officer was recently interviewed by the Aurora (Colo.) Police Department as part of an investigation of the July 20 shooting. Holmes dropped out three days after Fenton reported him to the threat assessment team, which then never convened to discuss subsequent action on his case.
Fenton’s concern over her patient was great enough that she was prompted to legally break the usual confidentiality between doctor and patient, a serious move that is protected under Colorado law when psychiatrists are aware of an imminent threat that their patient might cause harm to others.
A university spokesperson declined to comment on how university police may have responded to Fenton’s concerns, citing a gag order preventing comment on the investigation.