By Rick Sallinger

CANON CITY, Colo. (CBS4)– The man who attacked Aurora theater shooter James Holmes in prison told the Department of Corrections that guards were in on the attack. But the department investigated and said that’s not true.

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The inmate, Mark “Slim” Daniels, is serving time for a variety of crimes. He was in the same prison as Holmes and their paths crossed.

At the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City special attention was made to keep the theater gunman apart from other prisoners. But by chance Holmes and Daniels came face to face last October after a guard’s radio battery died as each inmate was being moved.

Mark Daniels (credit: Dept. of Corrections)

Mark Daniels (credit: Dept. of Corrections)

In a letter to CBS4, Daniels asked us to contact his father who would speak for him. CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger asked Tim Daniels about the allegation that guards were in on the attack.

He said he couldn’t say for sure, but added, “I would have to say they would have had to turn the cheek at least for a couple minutes for him to get ahold of him.”

Department of Corrections documents obtained by CBS4 read that Daniels “punched offender Holmes on the back and the top of his head”.

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Daniels responded, “This is your fault. You control the doors. I don’t.”

But the director of prisons for the Colorado Department of Corrections, Steve Hager, told CBS4 by phone the inspector general found no truth to Daniels’ claims of guard involvement.

James Holmes in court on Aug. 24, 2015 (credit: CBS)

James Holmes in court on Aug. 24, 2015 (credit: CBS)

“I would say it’s an allegation offender Daniels made trying to justify his actions,” Hager said.

After the attack Daniels was moved to the state prison facility at Sterling and placed on 23-hour a day lockdown. Holmes was transferred to the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo which specializes in inmates with mental health issues, but then Holmes was quietly moved again, out of state.

Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, who prosecuted Holmes, feels the Department of Corrections should be protecting its inmates and says Holmes should be in Colorado serving his life sentence.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.