Prosecutors: Holmes Defense Misleading Victims
DENVER (AP) – Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting case accused a representative of the defense team of misleading victims, offering to leak sensitive information to them and trying to line up opposition to the death penalty.
In a document released Tuesday, prosecutors alleged the defense sent “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” to the victims, an apparent reference to Tammy Krause, a victim-outreach specialist working for defense lawyers.
Prosecutors did not specifically say how they believe Krause misled the victims but said she spoke with them in order to gather information for the defense, not to help the victims.
No phone listing could be found for Krause, and defense lawyers didn’t immediately return a call.
In an affidavit filed last month, Krause described herself as a liaison and said her role was to help defense lawyers understand the victims’ concerns and questions.
“I am guided by the needs of each individual victim,” she wrote.
It is the latest round of pre-trial maneuvering in the case of James Holmes, who is charged with killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack on a suburban Denver movie theater. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Jury selection is scheduled to start Oct. 14.
The trial is expected to turn on whether jurors determine Holmes was insane at the time of the shooting, but the two sides are battling over numerous secondary issues.
The 267-page prosecution document, dated Friday, is a response to an allegation by Holmes’ lawyers that prosecutors interfered with the defense investigation by wrongly telling victims that Krause was an advocate for Holmes. The defense asked the judge to punish prosecutors.
Prosecutors said they did nothing wrong and the defense request should be rejected.
Prosecutors submitted affidavits from unidentified victims to support their allegations against Krause.
In one affidavit, a victim said Krause asked how to write a letter to other victims that would “purposefully leak information.” The information wasn’t clear from the affidavit, parts of which were redacted. Prosecutors described it as sensitive information that was not supposed to be released to victims but that Krause had suggested she could “hypothetically” pass it along.
Another affidavit said an anti-death-penalty advocate asked a victim to arrange meetings with other victim families so Krause or the advocate could try to sway their opinions about the death penalty.
Separately, a court filing released Tuesday explained why the defense wants the disciplinary records of three police officers. Two are potential prosecution witnesses – one who responded to the theater and one who was assigned to a high school where witnesses were interviewed. The third helped conduct a background investigation of Holmes.
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- By Dan Elliott, AP Writer
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