LIVE VIDEO: 9NEWS Sunday Evening News    Watch

Attorneys not given access to Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes for hours after he requested one

7:08 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

ARAPAHOE COUNTY - Aurora theater shooting attorneys were back in court on Thursday arguing over statements made to the officers by the suspect after he was arrested and taken to the police station.

The defense team claims James Holmes requested legal counsel and then made multiple statements to police. Since he invoked his right to legal counsel, they argue the statements he made should be suppressed.


According to court documents, some of the statements he made to police include telling them there were bombs inside his apartment and they would go off if the wires were tripped. Holmes also told police he had four guns in his apartment, according to police reports.

Holmes told police that it was "just [him]" when it came to who was responsible for the mass shooting on July 20, 2012 that left 12 people dead and at least 70 others injured.


The defense says while police were reading Holmes his Miranda warnings, the shooter asked "How do I get a lawyer?" and also invoked his Sixth Amendment rights - which is a person's right to legal counsel. The court documents say he requested a "court-appointed attorney."

In court on Thursday, the lead detective in the case testified that he was aware attorneys tried to contact Holmes to keep him from talking to police more, but the detective prevented them from talking to Holmes for more than 13 hours "in the interest of public safety."

Holmes requested an attorney just before 3 a.m. on the day of the shooting. Thirteen hours later, police went back into the the interview room and spoke with Holmes about his booby-trapped apartment. When investigators first went to where Holmes lived, they found IEDs, fuses, wires, propane tanks and pyrotechnic-firing devices all over his apartment. At one point, the FBI suggested to go back to the jail to talk to Holmes about the devices to see if they could get more information on them. The devices were so complex, investigators were worried they were going to have to simply detonate and burn down the building as a whole in order to ensure everyone's safety.

Hours later, officers interviewed Holmes again about the explosives at his apartment. At that point, officers thought they were recording the interview. However, after Holmes explained to investigators that they would only have to evacuate his building if they decided to detonate it and explained in depth what devices were inside, the officer realized his audio device was not recording.

The prosecution team argues there was a public safety exception to this action and that all the statements made to police should be admissible into evidence presented in a trial scheduled to start in February 2014.

The prosecution, on Thursday, said they plan on filing a subpoena for one of the attorneys Holmes' mother called and asked to represent him until he could get a court-appointed attorney. According to that attorney's testimony during court, she took notes on her encounter with detectives at the police station.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Most Watched Videos