Prosecutors: Holmes banned from CU after threats

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James E. Holmes

James E. Holmes at his first court appearance Monday, July 23, 2012.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — For the first time we are learning that theater shooting suspect James Holmes’ life at the University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus had begun to spiral out of control before June.

In arguing for release “of any and all” of Holmes’ records from the university in court Thursday, prosecutors painted the picture of a man growing increasingly angry at a system he had chosen for success.

“The prosecution was very aggressive today,” said former Denver chief deputy district attorney Craig Silverman. “They’re demanding these records and it’s clear that they’re building a case based on revenge, the kind of motive we see all the time when somebody gets fired from work.”

Prosecutors said Holmes’ professors in the neurosciences department noticed a change in his academic and personal behavior.

So much so, they suggested he find a new field of study.

Eventually he was asked not to come to the science labs any longer.

He began receiving poor grades.

On June 7th he failed his oral exams.

It was after that that he withdrew from the program.

Then, Holmes made threats against the school and was told not to return to campus according to what prosecutors said in court.

“This was an individual who was failing at CU, lashed out against CU so much so that they banned him from the campus,” Silverman says.

CU Denver spokeswoman Jackque Montgomery said Thursday night the university never banned Holmes from the campus. She said she could not comment any further.

The CU threat assessment team alerted campus and local police.

Prosecutors say during this time Holmes began amassing weapons and ammunition used in the horrific attack on the Century 16 theaters July 20.

Before the shooting spree, he’s accused of booby trapping his Aurora apartment with a series of explosives.

Prosecutors believe he was apparently ready to lash out in revenge…against his own failings.

“That’s something we all understand and motivates a lot of murderers,” Silverman says. “It kind of goes against the insanity defense.”

The school has turned over more than 100 pages of documents related to Holmes to the court.

Defense attorneys say the suspect’s school records are subject to student privacy laws and should not be given to prosecutors or admitted as evidence in the case.

Holmes was described as being engaged at times during the court proceeding Thursday, and he asked his attorneys questions.

He’s accused of murdering 12 people in a theater that was filled with people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Almost 60 people were also shot.

The next hearing in the theater shooting case is scheduled Thursday, August 30. Prosecutors say they will present evidence and testimony at that time. The specifics were not discussed.

Several rulings are expected from the judge before then.

See more Aurora theater shooting coverage