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University of Colorado releases thousands of James Holmes-related emails

At the request of media organizations, the University of Colorado released over 3,000 emails pertaining to James Holmes, the former graduate student accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 at the premier of a 'Batman' movie this summer in Aurora, Colo.

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As the case moves toward a trial, prosecutors have depicted Holmes as a young man whose once promising academic career had begun to crumble at the time of the shooting - one of the bloodiest acts of gun violence in the United States in recent years.

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He failed oral board exams for graduate school in June and a professor suggested he may not have been a good fit for his competitive doctorate program.

Holmes then began a voluntary withdrawal from the school and amassed an arsenal of weapons as part of "a detailed and complex" plan to commit mass murder, prosecutors charge.

At the university where Holmes had been a student, faculty repeatedly implored students who knew Holmes not to divulge any information to the media in the aftermath of the shooting.

"It appears that the shooter at the Batman premier was one of our students," Cammie Kennedy, the program administrator for the neuroscience program, wrote in an e-mail to students just hours after the shooting.

"Students, I am here in my office if you need me," she added, with a smiley face and her cellphone number.

She also asked students to "please NOT post anything on Facebook, Twitter, etc."

Holmes has yet to enter a plea in the case, and prosecutors have not indicated whether they will seek the death penalty.

Holmes' lawyers, who analysts have suggested may be laying the groundwork for an insanity defense, have said Holmes suffers from mental illness and sought to get help before the shooting. (Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

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