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Lawyer: Aurora shooting suspect tried to call psychiatrist 9 minutes before attack

A defense attorney says Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes tried unsuccessfully to call a University of Colorado, Denver, psychiatrist nine minutes before the attack.

Defense attorney Tamara Brady said Thursday that James Holmes placed the call to an after-hours number at a hospital at the University of Colorado, Anschutz campus.

Brady says Holmes thought he could reach Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist, at that number.

Holmes is accused in the July 20 shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded in Aurora.

Barry Gutierrez / AP

Defense attorney Daniel King leads other public defenders into court Thursday for a motions hearing for suspected theater shooter James Holmes in district court in Centennial, Colo.

The detail came out during a hearing about Holmes' relationship with Fenton, to whom he mailed a package containing a notebook that reportedly contained violent descriptions of an attack.

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Fenton, who took the stand Thursday, testified she was sent the package on July 19.

The package was seized by police on July 23 -- just three days after the shooting. According to court documents, she never had the package in her possession.

More coverage of the Aurora theater shootings on NBCNews.com

District Court Judge William Sylvester made no decision Thursday on whether the package should be released to prosecutors, NBC station KUSA reported. The hearing was continued to Dec. 20.

Rj Sangosti / Pool via Reuters file

Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes is shown at his first court appearance in Aurora, Colo., in July.

The court discussed whether the notebook was sent during the time Holmes and Fenton had a doctor-patient relationship. The defense argued the notebook sent to Fenton is privileged information due to her relationship to Holmes as his psychotherapist. The prosecution says Fenton's relationship had already ended.

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Fenton testified on Thursday that she felt her professional relationship ended on June 11. Fenton claimed she did not see or talk to Holmes in between June 11 and July 19 - when the prosecution says the package was sent to her.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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