University free to release Holmes' records

Nov. 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM
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LITTLETON, Colo., Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A judge has authorized the University of Colorado to release records of a former student accused of killing 12 people in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater.

The university had been banned from releasing any records about James Holmes, who is charged with 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other charges for allegedly shooting and killing 12 people and wounding at least 58 others during a "Batman" movie July 20.

Arapahoe County District Court Judge William Sylvester, who issued the gag order three days after the shooting, Friday allowed UC officials to release any information, giving them the ability to decide whether releasing the records would violate any state or federal laws, The Denver Post reported.

A university spokeswoman said UC will have to respond individually to at least 30 requests from media organizations seeking release of Holmes' records.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's office said Friday families of those killed and some of the survivors would soon get payments from a charitable fund set up after the shooting, CNN reported. They are to split more than $5.3 million received from donors.

Families of the deceased and five people who were permanently disabled will get $220,000 each. Nineteen people will get payments of either $160,000 or $35,000, depending on the length of their hospital stays.

Victims who did not stay in the hospital overnight will not be compensated.

Free counseling is available to all the victims.

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