James Holmes' Psychiatrist Contacted Authorities Prior to 'Dark Knight Rises' Shooting
Dr. Lynne Fenton reportedly broke confidentiality to express concerns over her patient’s behavior in the weeks leading up to the Aurora tragedy.
The psychiatrist who treated Aurora movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes reportedly contacted a University of Colorado police officer weeks before the tragedy to express concerns over Holmes’ behavior, ABC News reports.
The publication’s sources did not know what the officer did with the information at the time, but said that the officer was recently interviewed, with an attorney present, by the Aurora Police Department as a part of the ongoing investigation.
When contacting authorities, Dr. Lynne Fenton would have had to break doctor-patient confidentiality. Under Colorado law, a psychiatrist can legally breach confidentiality with a patient if he or she becomes aware of a serious and imminent threat that their patient may cause harm to others. They can also breach confidentiality if ordered to do so by the courts.
ABC News also reported that Fenton had contacted other members of the threat-assessment team about her concerns. The team reportedly never met with Holmes to discuss his intent to withdraw from the University, where he was studying neuroscience, nearly six weeks before the July 20 massacre, which left 12 dead and 58 wounded.
The news follows a Fox News report that Holmes had mailed a notebook, detailing plans of the rampage, to a University of Colorado psychiatrist prior to the attack, only for it to remain unopened in a campus mailroom. The report was deemed “inaccurate” by authorities, though attorneys were seen arguing over a defense motion to find out who leaked information to the media regarding the package during a July 30 hearing.
Holmes has been formally charged with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. He has yet to make an official plea.