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Apr 5, 2013 1:11 AM by Eric Ross

Police: Beer, medication found in Holmes apartment

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Newly unsealed court records show that police found lots of beer, a Batman mask and drugs used to treat depression and anxiety in James Holmes' apartment after the Colorado theater shooting.

The records released Thursday show that police found more than 50 cans and bottles of beer, a Batman mask, paper shooting targets and the medication in the apartment in Aurora. Police detailed more than 100 items found there.

Authorities searched the apartment after disarming booby-traps Holmes allegedly left there.

Holmes faces the death penalty if convicted of killing 12 people during the attack. His attorneys have said he was mentally ill.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A psychiatrist who treated James Holmes told campus police a month before the Colorado theater attack that Holmes had homicidal thoughts and was a danger to the public, according to documents released Thursday.

Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, told police in June that the shooting suspect also threatened and intimidated her. It was more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie theater that killed 12 and injured 70.

In the days after the attack, campus police said they had never had contact with Holmes, who was a graduate student at the university.

But campus police Officer Lynn Whitten told investigators after the shooting that Fenton had contacted her. Whitten said Fenton was following her legal requirement to report threats to authorities, according to a search warrant affidavit.

"Dr. Fenton advised that through her contact with James Holmes she was reporting, per her requirement, his danger to the public due to homicidal statements he had made," the affidavit said.

Whitten added that Fenton said she began to receive threatening text messages from Holmes after he stopped seeing her for counseling, the documents said.

Whitten did not immediately respond to messages left at her home and office. University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said she could not comment because the school had not reviewed the court records.

The documents previously were sealed, but the new judge overseeing the case ordered them released Thursday after requests from media organizations including The Associated Press.

Holmes last week offered to plead guilty in the attacks. Prosecutors rejected that offer and announced Monday they would seek the death penalty.

The document that includes the information on the psychiatrist was filed to obtain the contents of a package Holmes sent to her before the attack. That package included a notebook that the newly released documents describe as like a "journal."

The package was dated July 12 - eight days before the massacre - but was found four days after the attack, in the university mail room. It included a sticky note with an "infinity design" and burnt $20 bills.

In court, prosecutors suggested Holmes was angry at the failure of a once promising academic career, and had stockpiled weapons, ammunition, tear gas grenades and body armor as his research deteriorated and professors urged him to get into another profession. Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Pearson said Holmes failed a key oral exam in June, was banned from campus and began to voluntarily withdraw from the school.

The newly released records describe Holmes' behavior after police found him, still clad in ballistic gear, leaving the theater after the massacre. After he was arrested, one officer asked Holmes if anyone was with him.

Holmes replied: "It's just me."

He also warned detectives that he had booby-trapped his apartment. It took days before authorities could disarm the traps and enter Holmes' apartment. When police took Holmes to the station and told him of his rights to an attorney, he asked for one, according to court records. That ended their interview with him.

The documents - including arrest and search warrant affidavits - were unsealed by the new judge in the case. District Judge Carlos Samour took over this week after the previous judge, who had sealed the documents, removed himself.

Judge William Sylvester handed off to Samour on Monday, saying prosecutors' decision to seek the death penalty against Holmes meant the case would take up so much time that he couldn't carry out his administrative duties as chief judge of a busy four-county district.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys had raised concerns about releasing the documents. Prosecutors said they were worried about the privacy of victims and witnesses if the records were released. Attorneys for Holmes said they didn't want to hurt his chances for a fair trial.

Sylvester had said he was reluctant to release the documents before the preliminary hearing, when prosecutors laid out evidence on whether Holmes could be brought to trial. That hearing was held in January, with investigators giving the names and injuries of every theater victim in graphic detail.

Witnesses testified that Holmes spent weeks amassing an arsenal and planning the attack. They said he set up an elaborate booby trap in his apartment designed to explode at the same time as the theater attack occurred miles away.

Media organizations said there has been a "wealth of information already made public in the proceedings thus far." They argued there was no basis for the documents to remain sealed.

After the preliminary hearing, Samour said lawyers failed to show that releasing the records would cause any harm, or that keeping the documents sealed would prevent any harm.

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