DENVER, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- James Holmes called a university hospital 9 minutes before he is alleged to have killed 12 people and wounded 58 at a Colorado movie theater, his attorney said.
Who he called, and why, could determine whether certain evidence can be admitted at his trial, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Holmes' public defender, Tamara Brady, said at a Denver hearing Thursday anyone dialing a number for the operator at the University of Colorado hospital could potentially reach Dr. Lynne Fenton, a psychiatrist who saw Holmes as a patient on June. 11.
"Did James Holmes call that number 9 minutes before the shooting started?" Brady asked Fenton.
"I don't know," the doctor replied.
The question is crucial to whether a notebook Holmes sent to Fenton July 19, the day before the shootings at a midnight premiere of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," can be admitted as evidence or if it is excluded because of a doctor-patient relationship.
The prosecution says the relationship began and ended June 11, the only time Fenton saw Holmes as a patient, CNN reported.
The defense maintains that the mailing of the notebook by Holmes indicates he considered himself a patient of Fenton at the time of the shootings.
Judge William Sylvester continued the hearing until Sept. 20 without ruling whether the package was privileged communication.