Theater shooting suspect in court today, victims’ financial troubles discussed

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The man accused of killing 12 people and injuring another 58 inside an Aurora movie theater appeared in court Thursday. He showed no reaction when lawyers discussed the shooting victims.

Prosecutors revealed that some of the shooting victims are in such dire financial straits that they cannot afford rent or food.

Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester cleared the way for a national organization to distribute more than $4 million donated for those in need.

Prosecutors asked to give victims' contact information to the Colorado Organization for Victims so they can apply for money donated to GivingFirst.org.

The suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, didn't react while the victims' situations were discussed. He stared, wide-eyed around the court...his strangely dyed hair growing out. He now has a mustache and mutton chop sideburns.

Holmes' defense attorneys hinted they might argue he is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Records of communications between Holmes and Dr. Lynn Fenton, his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, might provide some insight. But his defense team argued no one, not even the judge, has a right to that information.

Legal experts say the defense is probably right. Karen Steinhauser says this can be very frustrating for victims but the doctor-patient privilege to privacy protects all of our rights.

The University of Colorado delivered about 100 pages of information about Holmes. He dropped out as a graduate student at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora a few weeks before the shooting rampage on July 20.

The documents delivered to the judge don't have any medical records in them, according to a C.U. attorney.

The judge wants to review them before deciding whether to turn them over to prosecutors and defense lawyers.

The defense objected, saying the documents might contain privileged information about Holmes.

The defense has until Monday to give the judge a written objection, and then he will hear a defense motion next Thursday about throwing out the subpoena the prosecution used to get the documents.

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