* Former neuroscience graduate student killed 12 in attack
* Defense argues Holmes right to fair trial jeopardized
By Keith Coffman
DENVER, Oct 11 Prosecutors and attorneys
defending accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes return
to court on Thursday to spar over leaks to the news media, and
the status of a hearing that could provide details of the
Arapahoe County District Court Judge William Sylvester will
hear the two issues in the latest of a series of pre-trial
proceedings in the sensational murder case.
Holmes, a 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student,
is accused of opening fire inside a suburban Denver movie
theater during a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The
Dark Knight Rises' on July 20.
The rampage, one of the worst outbursts of U.S. gun violence
in recent years, killed 12 people and wounded 58 others.
Public defenders said in court filings that Holmes' right to
a fair trial was jeopardized when someone in law enforcement
leaked details of a package that Holmes sent to a psychiatrist,
in violation of a gag order imposed by Sylvester.
The parcel purportedly contains a notebook detailing plans
for the theater rampage, according to a Fox News report.
Holmes' lawyers said they have received 16,000 pages of
documents from prosecutors that they say support "the defense's
concerns that the government was responsible for leaking
information" about the package to the news media.
They are asking the judge to impose sanctions on prosecutors
for the disclosures.
Prosecutors said they were unable to respond to the "vague
allegations" made by the defense, noting the motion does not
identify the specific information that public defenders are
complaining about, or if the media reports were even true.
Sylvester will also hear from lawyers on Thursday on whether
a preliminary hearing scheduled for next month will be held on
time, delayed, or if Holmes will waive his right to the hearing
If the preliminary hearing is held, prosecutors will lay out
details of the case so the judge can rule if there is enough
evidence against Holmes to bind him over for trial.
Prosecutors have depicted Holmes as a young man whose once
promising academic career was in tatters. He failed graduate
school oral board exams in June, and one of his professors
suggested he may not have been a good fit for his competitive
In open court and in motions filed in the case, prosecutors
accuse Holmes of amassing an arsenal of weapons as part of "a
detailed and complex plan" to commit mass murder.
On the night of the rampage Holmes bought a ticket to the
movie then slipped outside, prosecutors said, armed himself and
returned to the theater, spraying moviegoers with gunfire.
Holmes' attorney, Daniel King, who analysts have said
appears to be laying the groundwork for a possible insanity
defense, has said his client suffers from an unspecified mental
illness and had tried to get help before the shooting.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Todd Eastham)