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Reporter in Colo. shootings seeks delay in hearing

March 19, 2013

DENVER (AP) — A New York-based reporter is seeking to delay a Colorado court hearing where she has been ordered to testify about her confidential sources for a story on the Aurora theater shooting suspect.

A lawyer for Jana Winter of Fox News asked a Colorado judge to delay the April 1 hearing while Winter asks a New York state court to overturn the order for her to appear.

Winter’s request was made public Tuesday. The Colorado judge ordered the defense and prosecution to respond to the request, but he did not say when he would rule.

Winter reported that suspect James Holmes sent a psychiatrist a notebook containing drawings that foreshadowed the July 20 attack, which killed 12 and injured 70. She quoted unnamed law-enforcement officials.

Holmes’ lawyers say that violated a gag order and they want to know who was responsible.

Winter’s lawyer argues that New York’s “shield law” allows her to keep her sources confidential.

Also on April 1, prosecutors are scheduled to announce whether they will seek the death penalty. That is not expected to be affected if Winter’s appearance is postponed.

The judge entered a not guilty plea on Holmes’ behalf but said the defense could ask to change that to not guilty by reason of insanity if Holmes chooses.

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