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Psychiatrist told police of Holmes’ danger to public

Holmes

– A psychiatrist who treated James Holmes told campus police a month before the Colorado theater attack that Holmes had homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the public, according to documents released Thursday.

Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, told police in June that the shooting suspect also threatened and intimidated her. It was more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70.

In the days after the attack, campus police said they had never had contact with Holmes, who was a graduate student at the university.

But campus police officer Lynn Whitten told investigators after the shooting that Fenton had contacted her. Whitten said Fenton was following her legal requirement to report threats to authorities, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“Dr. Fenton advised that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made,” the affidavit said.

Whitten added that Fenton said she began to receive threatening text messages from Holmes after he stopped seeing her for counseling, the documents said.

Whitten did not immediately respond to messages left at her home and office. University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said she could not comment because the school had not reviewed the court records.

The documents previously were sealed, but the new judge overseeing the case ordered them released Thursday after requests from media organizations including The Associated Press.

Holmes last week offered to plead guilty in the attacks. Prosecutors rejected that offer and announced Monday they would seek the death penalty.

The document that includes the information on the psychiatrist was filed to obtain the contents of a package Holmes sent to her before the attack. That package included a notebook that the newly released documents describe as like a “journal.”

The package was dated July 12 – eight days before the massacre – but was found four days after the attack, in the university mail room. It included burnt $20 bills.

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