Holmes’ lawyers intend to subpoena the reporter, Jana Winter, because she was the first one to report that the suspect sent his psychiatrist a notebook of violent descriptions, reports The Boston Globe.
The announcement was made toward the end of a court hearing on Monday after nine law enforcement officials testified, denying they were the ones to tell Winter about the notebook. The defense is arguing that the Fox reporter’s source violated a gag order in the case.
The plans by the defense to subpoena the Fox reporter could turn into a showdown over First Amendment rights and the ability for a reporter’s ability to protect their sources from disclosure. Fox stated that the network has not yet received a subpoena in the case, but if one does arrive they will evaluate it thoroughly.
Reuters notes that Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor who is now in private practice, stated that Holmes’ lawyers are likely making an issue of the notebook, hoping that the judge will take the death penalty off the table as a sanction against prosecutors. Silverman, who attended Monday’s hearing, added, “there’s a real danger that the sideshow is taking over the circus.”
The notebook in question was seized in the University of Colorado’s mailroom four days after the shooting took place. The Fox reporter who may be subpoenaed was the first to report on its contents. Defense attorneys were quick to complain about the leak and demand sanctions, adding that the leak must have come from a law enforcement official. Prosecutors have alleged that the report was not accurate and there was no indication that it came from anyone who actually had knowledge of the case.
Do you think the Fox reporter should receive a subpoena for her part in reporting the notebook’s contents?