AURORA, Colo. – Before the movie theater massacre last week, the suspected gunman had been seeing a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado and mailed her a package containing a notebook, according to a motion filed by James E. Holmes’ public defenders.
In the filing released Friday, Holmes’ lawyers say that, after law enforcement executed a search warrant at the university this week and seized the package addressed to Dr. Lynne Fenton, someone leaked information about it to the media. The release of such information would violate a gag order issued by the judge in the case.
“The government’s disclosure of this confidential and privileged information has placed Mr. Holmes’ constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial by an impartial jury at serious jeopardy,” Holmes’ lawyers wrote.
The filing did not say why Holmes, 24, was seeing Fenton, who did not return calls to her office on Friday. At the brick home in Denver where she was believed to live, the windows were closed and no one answered the door.
Fenton, 51, graduated from the University of California, Davis, in 1982 and Chicago Medical School in 1986. She completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University Medical Center in 1990. After working as chief of physical medicine for the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio, as a physician in Aurora, and later as an acupuncturist, she completed a second residency in psychiatry at the University of Colorado in 2008, according to a resume on the school’s website.
She has been an assistant professor and, for the past three years, medical director of the student mental health service at the university’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, where Holmes had been a neuroscience doctoral student until he began the process of withdrawing in June.
“Most students receive combined treatment of psychotherapy and medications from a single provider” at the center, according to a center brochure, and center staff “consults with (medical school) staff regarding students of concern.”
Fenton is also listed as faculty at the medical school’s Schizophrenia Research Center and has received grants to study the effect of various drugs on schizophrenics.
On May 30, Fenton helped make a presentation at the psychiatry department called “World of Warcraft: The Use of Archetypes in Psychotherapy.” World of Warcraft, a popular multiplayer role-playing video game, was among those Holmes played, according to a former roommate.