CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS) – Attorneys for Aurora theater defendant James Holmes are angry about an email prosecutors sent to victims and witnesses.

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger obtained a copy of the email sent late last month. It notes the defense has hired a victim advocate and characterizes her goal is to try “to find Victims who will help the Defendant.”

It adds “PLEASE feel free to call me and ask before you agree to talk with someone.”

Sallinger took the email to CBS4 Legal Analyst and former prosecutor Karen Steinhauser.

“I think the email is concerning,” she said. “I think it could be perceived as the line.”

Prosecutor are seeking the death penalty if Holmes is convicted of the massacre that killed 12 people and injured dozens two years ago.

The email continues “If you don’t believe in the death penalty, and you don’t want us to see the death penalty please call me.”

“Reading that email as a whole, it can be seen as something to persuade people not to talk to defense in this case,” Steinhauser said. “That’s wrong.”

Prosecutors have maintained it is solely the choice of the witness if they want to speak to members of the defense team.

Attorneys for Holmes say they believe false statements and denigrating accusations were sent to all the survivors in theaters eight and nine. The shootings happened in theater nine at the Century 16 theaters at the Town Center at Aurora.

The Holmes legal team wants the death penalty dropped because of the email or to have a special prosecutor appointed to take over the case.


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