James Holmes, Aurora theater shooting suspect, sits in the courtroom during his arraignment on Tuesday. J udge William Sylvester entered a plea of not
James Holmes, Aurora theater shooting suspect, sits in the courtroom during his arraignment on Tuesday. J udge William Sylvester entered a plea of not guilty for Holmes, who had refused to enter a plea. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

The University of Colorado on Friday disputed information in newly unsealed court documents that the school blocked accused Aurora theater gunman James Holmes from campus buildings because of threats he made.

In a statement released Friday morning, CU stood by an earlier assertion that Holmes' key card was deactivated because he was withdrawing from school.

"These documents support the prior statement from CU that Mr. Holmes was never banned from campus but instead that his student access card was deactivated when he left the program," the statement reads. "The University is prohibited from commenting further due to the existing court order as well as a concern that doing anything would negatively impact the prosecution in this case."

Dr. Lynne Fenton described James Holmes as a danger, according to documents related to the theater shooting.
Dr. Lynne Fenton described James Holmes as a danger, according to documents related to the theater shooting. (RJ Sangosti, Denver Post file)

The statement adds to questions about what CU officials did — and, more important, did not do — in the 38 days between when police say Holmes threatened his psychiatrist and the attack on the Century Aurora 16 movie theater for which he faces murder charges in the deaths of 12 people.

Holmes was a neuroscience student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. But, on June 7 of last year, he failed crucial oral exams in his program, according to court filings and arguments.

On June 10, he officially asked to withdraw from school. On June 11, he visited with his psychiatrist at the school, Dr. Lynne Fenton, according to court records.

According to the newly unsealed affidavits, Fenton told a campus police officer on June 12 that Holmes was a danger to the public and that he had confessed homicidal thoughts to her. She also said that Holmes had threatened her via text messages and e-mail. The threats apparently ended Fenton's treatment of Holmes.

According to the unsealed affidavits, CU police officer Lynn Whitten deactivated Holmes' key card after hearing of the threats, blocking his access to secure areas of campus buildings.

"Officer Whitten advised ... that she had deactivated James E. Holmes' I.D. on June 12, 2012 due to that complaint," according to one of the search warrant affidavits.

CU has repeatedly disputed that version of events. In August, when one of the prosecutors in Holmes' murder case said Holmes had been "banned" from campus because of threats he made, CU spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery responded that Holmes had never been banned.

The university has also said that campus police never had contact with Holmes — even after the alleged threats.

An activity log for Holmes' key card creates even more confusion. The log shows that Holmes did not use his card after May 30, 2012. His key card, though, was not officially deactivated by campus administrators until June 15, according to the activity log.

On July 20, the day of the theater shooting, campus officials checked to make sure the card was disabled, according to the log.

John Ingold: 303-954-1068, jingold@denverpost.com or twitter.com/john_ingold