A judge says prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings can use evidence found in defendant James Holmes' apartment, which includes homemade bombs and a calendar with the day of the shootings highlighted.
A Colorado judge on Monday ordered that some key records remain sealed and others be released in the case against James Holmes in last month's deadly rampage at an Aurora movie theater.
Arapahoe County District Chief Judge William Sylvester issued his order in response to requests by members of the media, including CNN, asking that a host of records be made public. The 24-year-old former graduate student is accused of opening fire during a midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie, leaving 12 dead and injuring 58 others.
The prosecution and defense had argued for the documents to remain sealed -- the former to assure the integrity of the continuing investigation, and the latter to protect Holmes' right to a fair trial.
Holmes has been charged with murder and attempted murder, and faces two weapons charges.
"While the court is cognizant of the important role media petitioners play in informing the public's legitimate interest in knowing the actions taken by government officials responsible for the investigation, prosecution and trial of (the) defendant, the court also will not jeopardize the integrity of the process and the truth-seeking functions of our justice system by authorizing the premature release of records," Sylvester wrote.
The judge reaffirmed his earlier decision barring the University of Colorado from releasing records related to Holmes, who had been a Ph.D. candidate studying neuroscience at the school. He withdrew from the program in June, weeks before the shooting.
Sylvester furthermore cited the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, which states that "records of official actions ... shall be open for inspection," while other records from criminal justice agencies may be released or kept under seal.
Reasoning that they aren't "records of official actions (that) must be disclosed," the judge ordered that probable cause affidavits, subpoenas, arrest warrants and search warrants be suppressed at this time, in the early stages of the investigation.
The case's "register of actions," or docket -- identifying court appearances and filings by the parties involved in the case, including motions and orders -- was ordered released. Sylvester decided that "unrestricted access (to the register) would not pose a substantial probability of harm to the fairness of the trial."
The judge also sided with the media petitioners in ordering the release of 34 motions and orders that have been filed and court orders issued so far in the case. They include documents pertaining to arguments about limiting pretrial publicity, allowing access and preserving the crime scene.
Steven Zansberg, a lawyer representing the media coalition, applauded part of Monday's decision and expressed disappointment over others.
"We are pleased that Judge Sylvester has unsealed 34 documents in the court file that were previously not available to the public, and thereby has brought much needed transparency to this judicial proceeding," Zansberg said via email.
"We are disappointed that the affidavits of probable cause remain under seal at this time, but are hopeful that the court will revisit that issue some time in the not too distant future."
The Arapahoe County judge also issued an order Monday clarifying and essentially upholding a previously issued limited gag order preventing defense lawyers, prosecutors and law enforcement agencies from disclosing certain information to the media.
Some recited the names of the dead. Some did good deeds for their neighbors. And some practiced yoga, walked through nature, or simply talked.
"The day that we could have died is the day that we get to spend the rest of our lives together," said Aurora, Colorado theater shooting survivor Kirstin Davis, who will marry her fiancé Saturday.
His face was hidden behind a gas mask, and he was costumed from head to toe in a police-style helmet, black cargo pants and black vest. Then he started shooting.
James Holmes, the former neuroscience graduate student accused of the deadly Colorado movie theater shootings, is headed to the state mental hospital for an evaluation of his sanity.
A judge on Tuesday accepted James' Holmes plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, setting the stage for a lengthy mental evaluation of the Colorado theater shooting suspect.
The suspect in the Colorado theater massacre could enter his long-expected insanity plea at a hearing Tuesday -- though the case could also veer off on another tangent as his lawyers seek the strongest possible defense.
Lawyers for the Colorado theater shooting suspect say he wants to change his plea to guilty by reason of insanity, but a judge won't rule on whether to allow that yet.
Lawyers for the man accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a Colorado movie theater say he wants to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.
Attorneys for the Colorado theater shooting suspect suggested in a court filing Monday that they might be considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity over their client's objections.