Dark Knight gunman ditches red 'Joker' hair for court appearance as prosecutors drop bid to see notebook he sent therapist
Daily Mail Reporter
The Dark Knight shooting suspect has appeared in court again - and was seen for the first time without his dyed red 'Joker'-style haircut.
James Holmes seemed more animated during the hearing than he has in the past - he smiled and glanced around the courtroom, looking at his lawyers and reporters covering the hearing.
The former PhD student appeared to be moving his mouth but not actually talking during the proceedings in Centennial, Colorado.
His appearance in court on Thursday came as prosecutors gave up their fight to see a notebook he sent to a university psychiatrist, so as not to delay proceedings.
Scroll down for video
In court: James Holmes, pictured left in a new mugshot and right in a court sketch from Thursday, is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 in a movie theatre shooting in July
Attentive: The suspect appeared animated during the hearing, and was seen looking around the courtroom
Defence attorneys say Holmes is mentally ill and that the notebook, sent to Dr Lynne Fenton, should not be released because of doctor-patient privilege.
Prosecutors argued that the notebook and its contents are fair game. He planned to be dead or in prison after the shooting rampage at an opening night showing of The Dark Night Rises, they said, and had no plans to undergo therapy.
But Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman said even if prosecutors convinced the judge the notebook is not protected, defence attorneys would probably appeal the decision.
'We still think we have good and compelling evidence that the notebook should not be privileged,' Mr Orman said, despite adding that because of possible delays, 'we're not asking to look at it.'
If Holmes's mental health becomes an issue in the case, Mr Orman said Holmes would have to waive privilege and prosecutors would gain access to the notebook, which remains in the custody of the court.
Bearing witness: Shooting victims and their families attended the hearing on Thursday in Centennial, Colorado
Defence: Attorney Daniel King presents his case in front of judge William B. Sylvester
Judge William B. Sylvester approved a procedure for Holmes's defence team to examine the notebook, which includes having a police officer present in the room.
'His notebook, his sketches, his drawings, everything should be made public so we can learn from it and prevent this from happening again,' said Greg Medek, whose 23-year-old daughter Micayla died in the shooting. 'He's just putting on a show. I don't think he's crazy. He's just evil.'
Holmes has been charged with 142 counts, including murder and attempted murder, stemming from the July 20 attack at an Aurora theatre that killed 12 and wounded 58 others.
Mr Sylvester approved prosecutors' request on Thursday to add 10 additional charges and amend 17 others.
Confused: In a previous court appearance, Holmes was said to appear disoriented
Scene: The Century 16 theater where Holmes allegedly shot and killed 12 people and injured 58
The hearing was cut short by the prosecution's decision not to seek the notebook. The lead police investigator and another detective had been expected to take the stand to help prosecutors make their case for why they should be able to see the notebook, which purportedly contains descriptions of a violent attack.
Former Denver prosecutor Karen Steinhauser said prosecutors want the notebook to bolster their case that the shooting was deliberately planned and carried out by a sane person.
But should Holmes plead insanity, prosecutors would have the right to the materials, including the notebook, that the examining psychiatrist would have used to form a professional opinion about Holmes's sanity.
She also said prosecutors might be able to gain access to the notebook through an 'implied waiver' of privilege should Holmes talk about its contents to inmates or jail guards.
'They [prosecutors] believe they will ultimately have access to that notebook,' said Ms Steinhauser, a law professor at the University of Denver. 'They want to keep this case moving.'
VIDEO: Dark Knight gunman ditches red 'Joker' hair for court appearance