Holmes' Lawyers Ask Judge to Keep Court Documents Sealed

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 1:33pm

Hours before Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes faced another court hearing, his lawyers Thursday asked the presiding judge to reject a request by media organizations, including CNN, to unseal the full court record in the case.

In a document submitted to Arapaho County District Judge William Sylvester, Holmes' lawyers said unsealing the entire court record would jeopardize the ability of the defendant to get a fair trial.

Sylvester has allowed the public release of documents in the case but kept many others under seal. CNN is one of 17 news organizations asking Sylvester to make the rest of the court record public, particularly affidavits for probable cause involving search warrants that already have been executed.

Holmes' lawyers also called Thursday for a court website to stop listing publicly available documents in the case.

"While documents that are unsealed may be accessible at the courthouse, posting them online in a specially-dedicated section of this website is inconsistent with both the judicial branch's obligation to ensure that Mr. Holmes receives a fair trial somewhere in the state of Colorado, as well as with this Court's orders limiting pre-trial publicity in this case," Holmes' lawyers argued.

Holmes, 24, is accused of opening fire in an Aurora movie theater during a screening of the new Batman film on July 20, killing 12 people and wounding 58. He was charged last week with murder and attempted murder, and also faces two weapons charges.

At his initial court appearance last month, the former doctoral candidate had hair dyed various shades of orange and appeared dazed.

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