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Colorado Judge Orders Release Of Documents On Holmes

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James Holmes in court on March 12, 2013 (credit: CBS)

James Holmes in court on March 12, 2013 (credit: CBS)

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) — The new Colorado judge overseeing the theater shooting case has ordered the release of documents related to the arrest of James Holmes.

District Judge Carlos Samour on Thursday said arrest and search warrant affidavits could be unsealed.

Prosecutors had said they were concerned about the privacy of victims and witnesses if the documents were released. Attorneys for shooting suspect James Holmes said they didn’t want to hurt his chances for a fair trial.

But Samour said much of the information already is public.

Samour took over the case earlier this week after the previous judge, who had sealed the documents, took himself off the case. Judge William Sylvester handed off to Samour on Monday, saying prosecutors’ decision to seek the death penalty against Holmes meant the case would take up so much time that he couldn’t carry out his administrative duties as chief judge of a busy four-county district.

Media organizations said there has been a “wealth of information already made public in the proceedings thus far.” They said there is no basis for the documents to remain sealed.

Holmes last week offered to plead guilty in the attacks that killed 12 and injured 70. But prosecutors rejected that offer and announced Monday they would seek the death penalty against him.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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