Defence attorneys in Colorado theatre shooting case seek officer's disciplinary records

Dan Elliott / The Associated Press
June 23, 2014 07:30 PM

DENVER - Defence attorneys in the Colorado theatre shooting case want to see disciplinary records of a police officer who was working on the day of the attack, but the reason wasn't immediately clear.

A subpoena, made public Monday, seeks documents from a 2008 internal affairs investigation of Joshua Schol, an officer in Aurora, the Denver suburb where the shooting took place. The subpoena says the investigation concluded Schol was untruthful in a police report.

That report would be unrelated to the theatre shootings because it was written four years before the attack.

The subpoena does not say why the defence wants the records, but it could be to discredit Schol if he is a prosecution witnesses in the upcoming trial.

The subpoena directs city officials to bring the records to a July 22 hearing where the attorneys are scheduled to discuss evidence about chemical and metal analyses, firearms, ballistics and tool marks. It wasn't known if that timing was coincidental or whether Schol has expertise in any of those areas.

Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said Schol was working on the day of the theatre shooting, and like all the officers on duty, he would have had some role in the response.

Fania said he did not know any specifics and could not comment further because of a judge's gag order.

Fania also said he could not discuss any details of the 2008 internal investigation of Schol.

Prosecutors and the defence routinely decline to comment, citing the gag order.

James Holmes is charged with murder and attempted murder in the July 20, 2012, theatre shooting, which killed 12 people and injured 70. Holmes is accused of opening fire on more than 400 people watching a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial is scheduled to start Oct. 14 with jury selection, a process expected to take months.

Prosecutors told defence lawyers about the 2008 investigation of Schol in a letter dated March 7. The letter said prosecutors had a legal and ethical responsibility to tell the defence about "information that may relate to the credibility of officer Joshua Schol."

The subpoena was dated Friday.

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Follow Dan Elliott at http://twitter.com/DanElliottAP


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