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Response to Motion for Sanctions for Prosecutorial Interference

Response to Motion for Sanctions for Prosecutorial Interference

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Published by Michael_Lee_Roberts
Response to Motion for Sanctions for Prosecutorial Interference
Response to Motion for Sanctions for Prosecutorial Interference

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Published by: Michael_Lee_Roberts on Jul 02, 2014
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07/04/2014

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DISTRICT COURT, ARAPAHOE
COUNTY
STATE OF COLORADO Arapahoe County Justice Center 7325
S
Potomac Street Centennial, Colorado 80112
THE
PEOPLE
OF
THE
STATE
OF COLORADO vs. Defendant( s):
JAMES
EAGAN
HOLMES
Attorney:
GEORGE
H
BRAUCHLER
--
 iled
UN
2014,
COURT
USE ONLY
18th
Judicial District Attorney Case Number:
12CR1522
6450
S
Revere Pkwy. Division: 202
entennia~
CO 80111 Phone: (720} 874-8500 Atty. Reg. #: 25910
RESPONSE
TO
DEFENDANT'S RENEWED MOTION
FOR
SANCTIONS
FOR
PROSECUTORIAL INTERFERENCE
WITH
DEFENSE INVESTIGATION
[D-137a] AND
RESPONSE
TO
DEFENDANT'S
MOTION
FOR
DISCOVERY
OF
EMAILS
AND
OTHER
WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS
SENT
BY
ARAPAHOE COUNTY
DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S
OFFICE TO
VICTIM-WITNESSES
IN
THIS
CASE
[D-219] This pleading is filed
by
the District Attorney for the
18th
Judicial District.
Introduction
1
The Defendant has filed pleading D-137a, titled
RENEWED MOTION
FOR
SANCTIONS
FOR
PROSECUTORIAL INTERFERENCE
WITH DEFENSE
INVESTIGATION. The Defendant has
ALSO
filed pleading D-219, titled
MOTION FOR DISCOVERY
OF EMAILS AND
OTHER
WRITTEN
COMMUNICATIONS
SENT BY ARAPAHOE COUNTY
DISTRICT
ATTORNEY'S
OFFICE
TO
VICTIM-WITNESSES
IN
THIS CASE. 2.
In
this case
the
defendant is charged with twenty-four counts
of
Murder in the First Degree pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-102(1)(a) and (d); and one-hundred-and-forty counts
of
Attempted Murder in the First Degree pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 18-3-102(1)(a) and (d); 18-2-101. The Defendant is also charged with Possession
of
an
Explosive
or
Incendiary Device pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-109(2) for rigging explosives in
an
apartment complex in Aurora, Colorado
on
July 20, 2012.
1
Eighty-two victims are named in
the People's
Complaint and Information, approximately 100 additional homicide-victim family members are also
1
These charges are merely accusations by the District Attorney; the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. People
v
JAMES EAGAN HOLMES Case No. 012CR1522 Response to D-137a and D-219 Page I
l
 
statutory victims under the Colorado s Victims Rights Act in this case, and approximately 1000 more lay victim-witnesses were either present in the Century
16
theaters in Arapahoe County, Colorado on July 20, 2012 and witnessed the traumatic events that occurred or had friends and relatives who were injured or killed at the theater.
3
The Defendant has filed one motion for sanctions (D-137a) alleging that one particular
e-
mail sent to the victims by the District Attorney s Office was improper, and the Defendant has filed an additional motion requesting that all e-mail and written communications from the District Attorney s Office to victim-witnesses in this case be discovered to the Defense (D-219). For the reasons articulated in this pleading, and for reasons articulated by the People in previous pleadings,
2
the People respectfully request that the Court deny both
of
Defendant s motions, D-137a and D-219.
Factual Background nd Timeline
4
There are over 1000 victims in this case and approximately 3000 additional witnesses in this case. Due to the large number ofvictims in this case, and also because
of
media s ability to convey information almost instantaneously about this case
to
the public, e-mail communications
to
the victims and witnesses in this case are the most efficient means for the District Attorney s Office to convey timely case-related information to the victims and witnesses associated with the prosecution
of
this case.
If
there were fewer victims, the District Attorney s Office would prefer to have more frequent personal contact with the victims; but, given the number
of
victims in this case, and the large quantity
of
information that the District Attorney s Office
is
required to provide victims, e-mail communications are the only viable option for distributing large quantities
of
information to the victims in a timely manner. Now, the Defendant wishes to abridge even that meager communication mechanism utilized
by
the District Attorney in this particular case simply because the District Attorney s Office truthfully conveyed information to the victims in this case.
5
Many
of
the victims and witnesses in this case have been confused and overwhelmed
by
the many individuals and organizations who have contacted the victims during the pendency
of
this case. Victims in this case have been approached by law enforcement personnel; law enforcement victim-advocates; community-based victim-advocates; personnel from the District Attorney s Office including prosecutors, victim-advocates; victim-compensation specialists, and investigators; countless reporters and media representatives; social-media bloggers; personnel from the Office
of
the State Public Defender including attorneys, investigators, and hiredcontractors for the State Public Defender; organizations that want to enlist victims help for antiviolence efforts, private civil attorneys working for plaintiffs, private attorneys working for the theater; attorneys working for the University
of
Colorado; attorneys working for other individuals; organizations looking to publish commercial materials related to law enforcement
2
The People have previously responded to D-47, D-69, and D-137 regarding similar allegations. To the extent that the People s previous arguments also apply to these pleadings, the People also incorporate the People s previous arguments into this response. The representations made by the People in the responses to D-47, D-69, and D-137 are still accurate representations
of
the People s conduct in this case.
People
v.
JAMES EAGAN HOLMES
Case No. 012CR1522 Response to D-137a and D-219
Page
 
responses in mass violence situations; organizations that want to enlist victims' help for antideath-penalty efforts; organizations that want to enlist victims' help for mental-health initiatives; individuals who wish to publish books about the victims; individuals who have asked to make films featuring the victims; conspiracy theorists; and by groups
of
individuals supporting the Defendant, just to name a
few.
6.
The presence
of
various law-enforcement and community-based victim-advocates and victim-outreach specialists has been particularly confusing for the victims, and often a cause for consternation for the victims. This
is
not the fault
of
the victims.
t
is
very confusing for the victims because so many organizations have personnel with titles like victim-advocate or victim-specialist. The victims were met by an outpouring
oflaw
enforcement advocates from the Aurora Police Department and from law enforcement agencies from across the state. Those advocates helped victims
at
the crime scene and in the days, weeks, and months following the shooting. At the same time, there was a fund set up for the victims by the Community First Foundation, and those funds were distributed by COV
A
the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, where the victims were also introduced to victim-advocates who worked for COV
A
The victims have also been introduced to victim-advocates in various community based organizations from across the country. Additionally, the victims were introduced to victimadvocates in the District Attorney's Office and victim compensation specialists in the District Attorney's Office. Since the inception
of
this case, the victims have been confused about which organization helps which victims with a particular or individual need
or
answers a particular question for the victims. Victims have repeatedly called the District Attorney's Office to request victim compensation, or request aid from COVA, and the District Attorney's Office directs those victims to the appropriate representative. Likewise, victims have called other organizations asking about court
or
case information, and those organizations have directed those victim calls to the District Attorney's Office.
7.
Understandably, victims and witnesses in this case have consistently reached out to the District Attorney's Office in an attempt to ascertain whether
or
not they should speak with these individuals.
t
is
the habit and practice
of
the District Attorney's Office to always respond, ''The right to speak
or
not to speak to anyone about this case
is
completely your choice alone to make. You also have a right not to speak
to
the prosecution
if
you choose.
t
is
also the habit and practice
of
the District Attorney's Office to always respond, You have the right to ask people who they are, and who they work for, and ask for a main number
of
an organization where you can call the person back and verify where they work.
t
is
also the habit and practice
of
the District Attorney's Office to always respond,
If
you choose to speak with someone
it
is
important that you just tell the truth.
t
is
also the habit and practice
of
the District Attorney's Office to always respond, Please know that you can set whatever parameters you would like for any potential conversations
or
interviews you choose to have in the future. The best way to ensure
an
accurate account
of
a conversation
is
to ask to record the conversation. You can have any potential conversations or interviews alone, you can ask to record the conversation, you can ask to have a law enforcement officer present during the conversation, you can ask to have a friend present, or you can ask to have me
or
someone else from the District Attorney's Office present. Finally, it
is
also the habit and practice
of
the District Attorney's Office to always
People v. JAMES
EAGAN
HOLMES
Case No. 012CR1522
Response
to D-137a
and D-219
Page3

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