“Today’s ruling is a major win for all journalists,” Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said this morning, after New York’s top court ruled one of his reporters can’t be forced to reveal sources used to cover the Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass murder. The New York Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that the state’s shield law protected New York FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter from being compelled to name sources. Winter first reported that law officers told her James Holmes kept a diary depicting violence and gave it to his psychiatrist before 12 movie-goers were gunned down during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July of ’12. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder; prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes’s lawyers wanted Winter brought to Colorado to name her sources, arguing they had violated a gag order and would not be credible trial witnesses.
Related: Aurora Theater Shooter Now Pleads Insanity
“There is a substantial likelihood that a New York reporter will be compelled to divulge the identity of a confidential source (or face a contempt sanction) if required to appear in the other jurisdiction — a result that would offend the core protections of the shield law, a New York public policy of the highest order,” the court said, overturning a mid-level appeals court’s decision, according to news reports. Read More »
Less than two months after a judge entered a not guilty plea for him, James Holmes now wants to claim not guilty by reason of insanity. In a not unexpected filing today, lawyers for the accused Aurora theater shooter say they will formally request the plea change at a May 13 hearing. Holmes is accused of killing 12 moviegoers during a shooting spree last summer at a Cinemark theater midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. Read More »
James Holmes originally had a not guilty plea entered for him during his arraignment last month, then last week his lawyers offered a deal in which he was willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison without parole in order to avoid the death penalty. Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler today rejected the plea deal and said he will seek the death penalty in the case. Holmes is accused of killing 12 moviegoers during a shooting spree last summer at a Cinemark theater midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. He is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. Brauchler, who said he spoke with victims and others related to the Aurora shooting ahead of making his decision, told the court this morning that “justice is death” just minutes into the hearing.
James Holmes’ attorneys said in court filings today that the Aurora movie theater shooting suspect is willing to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison in order to avoid the death penalty. The defense attorneys said the case could end Monday if the Arapahoe County district attorney accepts the deal, the Denver Post reports. That is the day that prosecutors planned to announce whether they would seek the death penalty in the case. Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in a Cinemark movie theater rampage last July 20 in Aurora, CO during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. At Holmes’ arraignment on March 12 his attorneys told the judge they needed more time to respond to the charges and the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Holmes is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes.
Related: Colorado Theater Shooting Lawsuits Against Cinemark Should Be Dismissed, Says Judge
James Holmes‘ attorneys told a Colorado judge this morning during his arraignment hearing that they needed more time to respond to charges that their client killed 12 people and wounded 70 others in a Cinemark movie theater rampage last July 20 in Aurora, CO during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. But Arapahoe County Court Judge William Sylvester entered the plea for him, setting the stage for an August 5 trial. Holmes is charged will 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. The plea still leaves open the possibility Holmes could enter an insanity plea, The Denver Post reports. The paper said prosecutors will announce April 1 if they will seek the death penalty.
The accused gunman in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting will now not be arraigned until March 12, a judge ruled today. James Holmes was scheduled for arraignment Friday but Judge William Sylvester delayed the hearing at the request of the suspect’s public defenders. Twelve people were killed and 58 were wounded when Holmes allegedly opened fire July 20th during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at the Cinemark-owned Aurora Century 16 multiplex. The decision sparked outrage from family members of the deceased and victims as the Colorado-based District Court judge explained that defense lawyers said that they needed more time to figure out the correct plea for their client. On Thursday, the judge had decided that prosecutors had presented evidence of probable cause that Holmes committed the shooting. He is accused of 166 counts, including murder and attempted murder and could face the death penalty if found guilty.
Related: Colorado Theater Shooting Lawsuits Get May 2014 Trial Date