Prosecutors say psychiatrist in Holmes' case shows bias

Dec. 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM   |   0 comments

AURORA, Colo., Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have accused a court-designated psychiatrist of bias in his examination of alleged Aurora, Colo.,theater gunman James Holmes.

The results of an examination by Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, a University of Colorado psychiatrist with an expertise in the mental health of prison inmates, indicate Metzner found Holmes mentally competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors are challenging Metzner's two other conclusions, one relating to Holmes' sanity at the time of the shootings in 2012 in which 12 people were killed and 70 injured, and one concerning whether Holmes is mentally fit for eligibility for the death penalty, the Denver Post reported Thursday.

The results of the exams have not been released, other than Metzner's conclusion Holmes is fit to stand trial.Citing a gag order, Metzner declined to comment Monday.

Hearings to decide if prosecution experts will be allowed to conduct their own examinations of Holmes have been closed to the public, but Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour revealed in an order last week that prosecutors "contend that at least one aspect of the ... examination in unfair because Dr. Metzner had 'an unfair bias.'"

Samour's order does not explain the alleged bias. Defense attorneys have argued that Metzner's conclusions are solid, the order said.

Closed hearings, set for the last week of January, will present testimony from other psychiatrists who have evaluated Holmes or closely studied the case, the newspaper said.

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