The Norman Transcript

April 11, 2013

Ruling again delayed on sources in Colorado shootings

By Dan Elliott
The Associated Press

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — The judge in the Colorado theater shootings refused again Wednesday to make a decision on whether to order a Fox News reporter to reveal her confidential sources for a story she wrote last year.

In the article, New York-based reporter Jana Winter cited anonymous law-enforcement sources who said shooting suspect James Holmes sent a notebook containing violent drawings to a University of Colorado, Denver, psychiatrist before the attack.

Holmes, who had been a student at the university, is charged with fatally shooting 12 people and injuring 70 at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora on July 20. A judge has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Holmes’ lawyers want to know the names of the officials who spoke to Winter. They argue the leak violated a gag order and could weaken the credibility of those officials if they are called to testify in a trial.

Defense attorney Rebecca Higgs suggested Wednesday that law-enforcement officers may have lied under oath when they denied speaking to Winter. That was sufficient reason to require Winter to testify, Higgs said.

Pacing and gesturing, Higgs argued the issue is whether a law enforcement officer decided to “flat-out lie.”

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. said he would not make a decision on Winter’s sources until he rules on whether the notebook will be admitted as evidence, reiterating a written order he issued Monday.

He told Winter she would have to return for another hearing Aug. 19.

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