Video may show James Holmes endangering deputies in Arapahoe County holding cell

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A view inside Courtroom 201, where jury selection in the trial of Aurora movie theater shootings defendant James Holmes is to begin on Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, pool)

A view inside Courtroom 201, where jury selection in the trial of Aurora movie theater shootings defendant James Holmes began on Jan. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, pool)

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A video discussed at a Monday morning hearing in the Aurora theater shooting trial may show James Holmes endangering Arapahoe County Sheriff's deputies while he was being jailed in a courthouse holding cell. And that video may be thrown out by the judge.

The issue at hand during Monday morning's hearing was whether the custodians of this video should have turned the surveillance footage over sooner.

Specifically, the video is an 11-minute segment of surveillance footage pulled from Holmes' stay in an Arapahoe County Courthouse holding cell on Sept. 20, 2012. In the video Holmes, the admitted gunman in the 2012 theater shooting that left 12 dead and 70 more injured, did something that led deputies to take the footage to Detention Services Bureau Chief Louie Perea.

Perea, now the county's undersheriff, spoke before the court on Monday. At the time of this video, Perea oversaw all the county’s detention and corrective services.

RELATED: Complete theater shooting trial coverage

Though Perea was careful not to state exactly what Holmes did in the video, he made the determination that while Holmes' actions did not rise to the level of criminal, they did "compromised the safety" of deputies.

At the time that the incident was caught on camera, Holmes was being recorded around the clock during his stays in the Arapahoe County jail and courthouse as well as during his stay at Denver Health Medical Center, where he was admitted in November 2012.

Holmes' defense team argued on Monday that they were not made aware of this particular segment of surveillance footage until January, while the Arapahoe County District Attorney's office allegedly had access to it much sooner. By law, the prosecution is required to hand over all discoverable evidence to the defense.

At Monday morning's hearing, the defense referenced numerous requests they had filed with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's office requesting any and all surveillance video that featured their client.

Perea indicated he never got those requests, possibly insinuating that Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson, who has since resigned, never sent them to him.

Local criminal defense attorney David Beller doesn't expect Perea's argument to hold much weight in court, as he says the state law on discoverable evidence is very clear.

"In this case, by having possession of information and not giving it to the defense its an absolute violation of Colorado law," Beller said. "If law enforcement gets this information, it must be given to the prosecutor and it must be given to defense. So it doesn't matter what Mr. Holmes did or did not do. If law enforcement has it the defense attorneys are also allowed to have it."

A decision made by the sheriff's office in late August 2012 was also discussed at Monday morning's hearing. At the time, the sheriff's office indicated it was taking one of their employees 40 hours a week to convert all of the Holmes surveillance footage to DVDs.

At the end of August, the time intensive process conversion process was ordered cancelled, as it was ruled to be a waste of department resources. The incident involving Holmes'  happened less than a month later.

Perea said he was keeping the 11-minute snippet of footage under lock and key because he thought it would eventually be a good training video to show his staff. He said due to the gag order issued in this case, his plan was to keep it secured until the end of the trial.

As of the conclusion of Monday's hearing, Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour said he would try to determine if the video was being kept in good faith by Perea or if it was intentionally kept from the defense. That will ultimately determine whether video is admissible at trial.

Beller feels it's likely the judge will side with the defense.

"The judge can say, 'Sorry, Mr. prosecutor, you didn't give it to the defense," Beller said. "Therefore you're not allowed to use it in your case at all."

While no indication has been given as to what is on the tape, it was clear that Arapahoe County had beefed up security around Holmes after Sept. 20, 2012. Around the same time, Holmes had also caused injury to himself by purposefully banging his head against the wall and floor of his jail cell.

There were also reports that Holmes was handcuffed to a gurney during the length of his say at Denver Health following the head-bashing incident.

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