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Colorado theater shooting suspect was seeing psychiatrist, lawyers confirm

One week after the deadly Colorado shootings, families and friends gathered to bury their loved ones. The movie theater in Aurora is still a crime scene where investigators continue their search for answers. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department

James Eagan Holmes sent a notebook to his psychiatrist, his lawyers disclosed.

Court records confirmed Friday that James Eagan Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist before he allegedly opened fire in a Colorado movie theater last week, killing 12 people and wounding dozens of others.

The disclosure came in a motion(.pdf) seeking a hearing on what Holmes' lawyers called inappropriate leaks to the news media. The motion was granted, and the hearing is scheduled for Monday.

The motion noted media reports this week that Holmes had sent a "package" to a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado-Denver medical school, where he was a first-year graduate student studying neuroscience and psychiatric disorders.


The existence of the package was first reported by Fox News. A law enforcement source later told NBC News that the package contained writings about killing people but wouldn't go into more detail.

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In their motion, Holmes' court-appointed attorneys disclosed that the package contained a notebook and confirmed that Holmes was a patient of Lynne Fenton, the medical school's student mental health director. That means his communications with her should be protected under Colorado doctor-patient confidentiality laws. The disclosure, they argued, violated the judge's gag order on participants in the case and put Holmes' right to a fair trial "in serious jeopardy."

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