DENVER | Aurora theater shooter James Holmes was moved to a prison that specializes in treating mentally ill inmates, but the transfer is not directly related to his mental health, officials said Monday.
Holmes, 28, went from the Colorado State Penitentiary to the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, near the state mental hospital, corrections department spokeswoman Adrienne Jacobson said.
She described Holmes’ transfer, first reported by KUSA-TV, as routine and said offenders are often moved to different prisons.
Until now, Holmes had been held alone in a cell and had contact with just seven other prisoners when he was allowed out his cell for at least four hours a day. He will be in the general population in San Carlos, which houses about 225 prisoners, and have more contact with other inmates.
Jacobson said she did not have details about what restrictions Holmes will face in his new facility but said he will likely spend more time out of his cell.
Despite restrictions at the penitentiary, an inmate was able to assault Holmes as he was being escorted through a hallway on Oct. 8. A 27-year-old prisoner took a few swings at Holmes, but Holmes was not injured.
The gunman was sentenced in August to 12 consecutive life terms for killing 12 people and wounding 70 others at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora in July 2012. Jurors quickly rejected his insanity defense but they could not unanimously agree on imposing the death penalty.
Holmes has been diagnosed with varying forms of schizophrenia, but doctors appointed by the court concluded that he still knew right from wrong. Holmes’ attorneys blamed the massacre on his schizophrenia and psychotic delusions, and defense experts testified that it wouldn’t have happened if he were not seriously mentally ill.