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Colorado Shooting Suspect Saw Psychiatrist, Defense Says

The man suspected of killing 12 people during a shooting rampage in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater had seen a psychiatrist, his lawyers said in a court filing.

It wasn’t clear from the filing today in state court in Centennial, Colorado, when James Holmes saw the doctor, identified as Lynne Fenton. The disclosure was made in connection with a request by Holmes’s lawyers for a hearing on alleged law enforcement leaks to the media about a package that he had sent Fenton.

“Holmes was a psychiatric patient of Dr. Fenton, and his communications with her are protected,” his lawyers said in the filing. Judge William Sylvester set a hearing on the request for July 30, according to court records.

Prosecutors, in a separate court filing, cautioned against believing news reports about the shooting and said there may be “fake law enforcement sources.” Prosecutors said reports that the FBI took possession of the package were incorrect. Aurora police took the package, they said.

Holmes, 24, will probably face a dozen first-degree murder charges, prosecutors have said in court papers. Twelve people died and at least 58 were injured when the suspected gunman attacked theater-goers during a midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. First degree murder can be punishable by death in Colorado. Holmes is scheduled to be formally charged July 30.

Fenton is described as medical director of the student mental health service at the University of Colorado Denver on the Anschutz Medical Campus, according to the university’s website. Fenton didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment on Holmes.

The case is People v. Holmes, 12-cr-01522, 18th Judicial District Court, Colorado (Centennial).

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