FILE - In a Sept. 30, 2013, file photo, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler arrives for a hearing for Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes at district court in Centennial, Colo. Brauchler leads the prosecution team in Holmes' trial. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
  • George Brauchler

AURORA | The judge in the Aurora theater shooting trial scolded District Attorney George Brauchler on Friday morning for sending a tweet during testimony Thursday.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, went out at 4:51 p.m. Thursday, shortly after the defense started cross examining Dr. William Reid, a psychiatrist who evaluated accused shooter James Holmes.

The defense said the tweet violated the judge’s order barring the lawyers from using social media in the courtroom, but it was also inappropriate considering the seriousness of the case.

“If the prosecution is seeking the execution of a man, perhaps the district attorney should pay attention to the cross examination of the mental health experts,” public defender Tamara Brady said.

Brauchler said the tweet was an accident and he meant it to be a text message. He called it an embarrassing mistake and apologized to the judge and personally to public defender Dan King, who was cross examining Reid when Brauchler sent the tweet.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. opted not to punish the prosecution over the tweet, but said it was inappropriate. He said there was nothing so important that the lawyers needed to send a text or email or tweet from the court room.

“Even texts, it seems to me, is something that should wait,” he said. He said neither side is allowed to send any texts, or emails, or tweets from the courtroom.

Samour said the two sides don’t need five lawyers in court at all times, as they have had for most of the trial.

“If you are bored and don’t want to pay attention to the proceeding you can leave, you don’t need to be here,” he said.

Brauchler is active on Twitter and uses it regularly to discuss politics and share information about the DA’s office. Generally, his Twitter use has been limited to evenings after court since the trial started.

The public and media are barred from having phones in the courtroom, but lawyers for both sides have phones and — before Samour amended his order Friday to bar even texting — regularly looked at them in court.

King’s cross-examination of Reid is continuing this morning.

8 replies on “Aurora theater shooting trial: DA George Brauchler scolded over tweet”

  1. When both prosecution and defense have stated Holmes did the killing and injuring, the only point needing decision is whether he is legally insane, or not. Why so long a trial, with expenses of all the staff of lawyers, to determine that? My opinion is the milking of the Colorado and Arapahoe County tax funds, and when that runs out, decision will follow immediately. And we know he will not get death penalty, since this governor kicks that can down the road to next administration for 4 on death row now. ————Perhaps we need legislation that no one can migrate to Colorado, from southern California. Or we should send Holmes back, and let them try him, and spend their money. Oh, Right. They have already spent their money, is why folks are moving here.

  2. Brauchler is a social media junkie like most younger people. Older managers have adapted to this generational shift and look the other way while younger colleagues text and tweet … it’s addiction.

    1. If you look at his account it has few tweets posted irregularly. That’s a far cry from a social media junkie.

Comments are closed.