Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes was back in court Thursday as prosecutors sought additional prints from the former neuroscience student.
The governor's office has also confirmed the special mediator who oversaw the 9/11 victims fund will meet with local government officials to discuss distribution of funds to the friends and families of those killed in the July shooting.
"Some families have expressed interest in seeing a third-party fund administrator help with the distribution plan and process related to the Aurora Victim Relief Fund," a Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance email read, according to the Denver Post.
"As a result, the Governor's Office, [the Community First Foundation] and the 7/20 Executive Committee have initiated discussions with Kenneth Feinberg and will meet with him today in Denver to explore possible next steps," it added.
Feinberg has served in multiple roles involved with dispensing funds to victims of attacks and disaster, including the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund and the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund.
Feinberg's involvement, first reported by ABC News, came about after victims' families complained the nearly $5 million donated to them was being used to create community organizations instead of going directly to individuals.
Meanwhile, accused shooter James Holmes returned to court Thursday, sporting a new shaved head and minimal facial hair. Prosecutors called the court date to request a palm print from Holmes to compare to a print at the crime scene.
Prosecutors also acknowledged they would drop a bid to acquire access to a notebook sent by Holmes to school psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton detailing his plans for the July 20 shooting, which left 12 dead and 58 wounded.
Arapahoe County Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman said the decision to drop the bid was made after Judge William Sylvester earlier ruled against the release, saying the notebook was protected under doctor-patient confidentiality.
Orman said his team did not want to take the issue to the State Supreme Court, delaying Holmes' trial further and entering "uncharted legal waters."
Holmes has been charged with 142 criminal counts, including 24 counts of first-degree murder (two for each victim killed) and 116 counts of attempted murder (two for each person injured). He also faces one count of committing a crime of violence and one count of possession of an explosive device.
During the attack, the shooter entered theater 9 of the Aurora Century 16 theater and fired multiple rounds at movie goers. He also threw what appeared to be a smoke bomb or incendiary device into the seats.
Shortly after the shooting, Holmes was quietly arrested outside of the theater near his car. He offered no resistance and was sporting a bullet-proof vest, helmet and gas mask and bright red hair.
In the state of Colorado, one first-degree murder charge results in a minimum sentence of life in prison. But in this case, the defendant will most likely face the death penalty.
by RTT Staff Writer
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