"Experts say Holmes' mental state may be a key issue at trial."
One wonders how much of a retainer NBC News is paying these experts to come up with astute observations such as that. If they would have emailed me I would have given them that tidbit of insight for an incredibly cheap fee.
No, when a guy dresses in black body armor, dyes his hair bright red, loads up with four different weapons, thousands of rounds of ammunition, booby traps his apartment, then opens fire in a crowded movie theater any questions about him being a tad funny in the head are moot. The only real debate will be whether we lock him away in a padded cell forever, or slip him the needle and be done with it.
Well, it won't quite be that simple, at least not for those who knew young Mr. Holmes might be teetering on the edge of something perfectly awful.
According to NBC, The Denver Post is reporting that back in June Holmes' psychiatrist gave his name to the University of Colorado's Threat Assessment Team. Dr. Lynne Fenton, who is medical director for student mental health services, had been seeing Holmes and became alarmed enough by his behavior to alert university authorities.
Denver TV station KMGH reported that school officials didn't take action because Holmes was in the process of dropping out of school.
You can almost hear lawyers throughout the Rocky Mountains sharpening their knives. U.C. Chancellor Don Elliman knows the scent of money is in the air. He issued this statement: "I believe, until it has been demonstrated otherwise, our people did what they should have done."
Yes, but if university personnel considered Jimmy Holmes a danger and did nothing about it simply because he was dropping out--ie "he's no longer our student, so he's no longer our problem,"--more than one slick attorney is going to have a field day. It won't take much to argue that if Aurora police had been alerted by the school to take a look at Holmes the whole nightmare might have been prevented.
The feds require psychiatrists such as Fenton to notify police if they learn of a patient's specific plot to harm others. Holmes sent her a package with a notebook before he went on his deadly rampage. Apparently it got hung up in the university's mail system and she didn't see it.
So now we are suddenly looking at a cascading series of events that opened the door for the self described Joker. Alarm bells were going off in Fenton's head. She notified the people who are supposed to address such concerns. For whatever reason they did not act and what have might of been a complete schematic of the brutal crime was lost in the mail room. Then finally, in what is becoming a tiresomely gruesome trend, no one at an institute of higher learning thought to contact the police.
As I type James Holmes sits in a cell somewhere dreaming whatever it is that lunatics dream. His next scheduled appearance in court is September 27th. There aren't any doubts regarding his guilt. However there are an increasing number of questions arising as to why this sick twist was able to stumble around for the last few months amassing an arsenal of weapons, ammunition, and explosive material.
Jimmy Holmes is going to answer for his crimes one way or the other. The real questions are who knew what about him and when. And, why in God's name didn't they do, or say anything before the shooting began.
Prepare for a blizzard of denials and then the inevitable fog of litigation. An entire generation could grow of age before we're through with this one.
Sic vita est.