Criminal Justice

Colo. Shooting Suspect May Have Tried to Reach Psychiatrist Minutes Before Attack, Lawyer Suggests

The public defender representing Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes suggested he may have tried to reach his psychiatrist minutes before he opened fire at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 people.

Public defender Tamara Brady made the suggestion as she was questioning Dr. Lynne Fenton, report the New York Times and CNN. Fenton apparently met with Holmes just once, on June 11, the Times says.

The questioning took place at a hearing to determine whether prosecutors can access a notebook Holmes sent to the psychiatrist. Brady asked Fenton about a phone number for a university hospital where she could possibly be reached. “Do you know whether James Holmes called that number nine minutes before the shooting started?” Brady asked. Fenton said she did not know.

Holmes’ lawyers are trying to establish that the notebook is privileged. Prosecutors maintain there is no privilege because Holmes was no longer Fenton’s patient.

Fenton said the package may have indicated Holmes still wanted her help. “Perhaps the package was saying, ‘I’m feeling bad. Please stop me,’ ” she said.

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