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Expert disputes claim reporter's story on Colorado massacre hurts gunman's defense

 

A criminal defense attorney has told Fox News that lawyers for the alleged Colorado massacre gunman, who are trying to get a judge to force a Foxnews.com reporter to reveal her story’s sources, are fighting over a leak that may actually be beneficial for their side.

FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter wrote an exclusive story in 2012 that detailed how law enforcement officers obtained James Holmes’ notebook, which he sent in a package to a University of Colorado psychiatrist. Holmes’ legal team wants Winter to reveal her sources, which they believe will enable him to have a fair trial.

Esther Panitch, a criminal defense attorney, said on “Happening Now” that the notebook story may boost the defense’s argument when Holmes goes to trial.

“It shows that he has a history of some type of mental health treatment,” she said. “So I’m not sure why the defense is going after this particular reporter for this particular leak.”

Dan Schorr, a former prosecutor, joined Panitch on a panel. He believes that Holmes’ attorneys are making an issue out of the notebook story so they can later appeal any possible conviction, which could include the death penalty.

“They’re going to throw every issue out there until something sticks,” Schorr said.

A ruling on whether Winter will be called to testify is expected Wednesday.

Click for full coverage of Fox News' First Amendment fight.

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