Colorado theater shooter James Holmes was beaten up so severely in an ambush by a fellow inmate last year that he is now being held in a secret, out-of-state location, it was revealed on Thursday.
Holmes was not supposed to interact with other prisoners at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City, Colorado, but when a security gate was left open at the wrong time, another inmate snatched an opportunity to attack the mass killer, throwing punches as guards tried to pull the two apart, according to documents obtained by ABC News.
Prison officials ruled that the incident proved Holmes was in so much jeopardy that he had to be secretly transferred out of state to an undisclosed location and is now under tighter security than even notorious killers such as Charles Manson.
Holmes, 28, was convicted on Aug. 7, 2015, for killing 12 people and injuring another 70 inside the Century Aurora 16 movie theater during a 2012 showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murders and an additional 3,318 years on the attempted murder and explosives possession charges.
The former Ph.D. student in neuroscience was not supposed to cross paths with anyone but prison staff, according to the newly released documents, but as Holmes exited the office of his case manager on Oct. 8, 2015, a prison staffer opened a sliding gate without realizing he was putting Holmes in close proximity to another inmate, convicted car thief Mark “Slim” Daniels. The officer escorting Holmes was unable to radio the officer controlling the gate “as his battery had gone dead,” he said in the report.
Daniels then “ran through the slider, squeezing through as it was closing toward offender Holmes…. Offender Daniels began hitting offender Holmes, in and around his head, with his fist.”
“Daniels kept swinging over the top of [one officer’s] head, still hitting offender Holmes,” the report says, with the officer escorting Holmes stating that Daniels “landed at least two blows to offender Holmes before I was able to get behind” him.
In the process, Daniels hit a female staffer “on the left side of her face below the eye and on the top of her head,” the records say.
While showing no remorse for the attack, Daniels said his only regret was that he didn’t manage to kill Holmes.
“I’m so sorry I couldn’t wipe him out and sent [sic] him packing to Satan’s lake of fire,” he wrote in a letter to Denver’s Westword newspaper in December. “It was just impossible to do by myself with so many cops. I did get him six or seven good ones…. He was very scared.”
When news of the attack leaked from the prison, strangers sent Daniels money and letters of support, with one even starting up a GoFundMe account for the convict.
Holmes has now been moved to a secret location, and his whereabouts are being kept confidential for “security” reasons, as dictated by the interstate-prisoner system, much to the disgust of some legal experts involved in his case.
“As a Colorado taxpayer and a Coloradoan who had to bear the impact of his mass murder, this guy should be serving a sentence in Colorado. And if not, we should know why and where he is,” local District Attorney George Brauchler, who prosecuted Holmes, told ABC News.