Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shooting Suspect James Holmes Failed Oral Examination, Made Threats, Prosecution Reveals

This is what I expected.

Suspect James Holmes failed his oral exams in the Ph.D. neuroscience program and was advised by his department to find a new line of work. He was getting booted from the program pretty much as I laid out in my essay, "Suspect James Holmes' Rapid Descent":
The department will usually not advance to candidacy those who've been struggling.
I posted more on that, along with the video from the university's press conference, here: "Suspect James Holmes No Easy Fit for Mass Murderer Profile."

The Los Angeles Times has the latest, "Colorado theater shooting: New details emerge on James E. Holmes":
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – The first glimpse of a once-promising career beginning to unravel emerged Thursday during a hearing in the case against James E. Holmes, accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 in a packed movie theater last month.

Assistant Dist. Atty. Karen Pearson revealed that 24-year-old Holmes, once a doctoral student in an elite neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Denver, had failed oral exams on June 7, made unspecified threats serious enough for campus police to be notified, and had his access to university buildings on the Anschutz Medical Campus revoked. He withdrew from the university June 10....

“What is going on in the defendant’s life is extremely relevant to the case,” Pearson argued as she sought to review all of Holmes’ academic records – including grades, course schedules and admission application -- as well as emails to professors during the time he attended.

She speculated about how disappointed Holmes must have been about his deteriorating university career and said faculty had asked him to leave the program.

The prosecution had subpoenaed the university records, which were turned over to the judge last week. They remain sealed, and the defense wants to keep it that way.

Defense attorney Daniel King rejected Pearson’s rationale and the validity of the scenario she sketched out on Thursday, strongly opposing the release of information about his client’s time at the university. He said that it was irrelevant to the case and that the prosecution was on a “fishing expedition that needs to be stopped.”