The man suspected of killing 12 people during a midnight premier of “The Dark Knight Rises” may have tried to contact his psychiatrist just minutes before the shooting.James Holmes was seeing University of Colorado — Denver psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton before he withdrew from the university’s neuroscience program.
And while the defence argues the pair had a protected doctor-patient relationship, the Denver Post reported that Fenton testified Thursday that she stopped treating the suspected gunman on June 11 — just weeks before the shooting.
However, just nine minutes before the shooting, Holmes called a University of Colorado switchboard. While it’s unclear whether he was trying to reach Fenton, the switchboard can be used to contact faculty members during off hours, CNN reported Thursday.
The debate about Holmes’ relationship with Fenton, and when it ended, came to a head Thursday afternoon as prosecutors and the defence faced off about whether the state has access to a notebook Holmes allegedly sent Fenton. The notebook is said to contain graphic details about his plans to people.
If the pair still had a doctor-patient relationship at the time Holmes reportedly sent the notebook, then it would be protected and off-limits to prosecutors.
When asked by the defence whether she knew Holmes called the switched, Fenton replied “I don’t know,” the Post’s John Ingold tweeted immediately after the hearing.
Fenton testified Thursday that she contacted a campus police officer with concerns about a patient on June 11, the last day she treated Holmes. However, the defence stopped her from identifying Holmes as the patient.
“I communicated with Officer [Lynn] Whitten to gather more information about this case and also to communicate my concerns,” Fenton said, according to the Post.
Judge William Sylvester did not rule Thursday on whether prosecutors are allowed access to the notebook, Ingold tweeted following the hearing.
A second hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.
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