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Suspected Aurora Shooter Under Care of Psychiatrist Before Massacre

In the weeks leading up to the deadly attack in an Aurora movie theater, the alleged shooter James Holmes apparently was under the care of a University of Colorado psychiatrist.

The information was contained in the court records filed by Holmes’ attorneys, who are trying to make the case that he was mentally unstable.

Fenton works on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz campus, where Holmes was a graduate student. Fenton is also the doctor who received a package from Holmes, sent before the shooting, that contained a notebook that some reports have said contained details about his plan for the shooting. Holmes’ lawyers are upset that the media found out about the package and its supposed contents, since any correspondence between Holmes and Fenton is protected by doctor-patient confidentiality.

Fenton is the director of student mental health services at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, a position she’s held for the last three years, seeing between 15 and 20 graduate students per week, according to a resume on the school’s website. She is also an assistant professor at the University, where she lectures. She supervises a team of four mental health clinicians and also some residents who treat students. She previously worked with the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio and was in private practice in Denver from 1994 to 2005. She graduated as an undergraduate from University of California  Davis and got her medical degree in 1986 from Chicago Medical School.

Holmes certainly presented himself as mentally unstable in the court appearance held this past week. He was practically nonresponsive in the court room, according to witnesses, at times staring down at the floor or looking out with bug eyes. And after he was brought in by police immediately following the shooting, when detectives put evidence bags over his hands to preserve any gunshot residue, sources said he began playing the bags as if they were hand puppets.


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