Fox Reporter Won’t Name Sources in Aurora Shooting Story; Faces Jail

Photo Credit: The New American

Fox News reporter Jana Winter is so committed to keeping secret the identity of her sources of information in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shootings that she is willing to face jail time rather than expose the unnamed persons. Though both a Colorado judge and a New York judge have ordered her to turn over her notes related to the killings — that likely contain the names of her law-enforcement sources — Winter has so far refused.

On July 20, 2012, James Holmes opened fire on unsuspecting patrons in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 and injuring 70. Fox News sent Jana Winter to cover the aftermath. Just five days later, Winter broke her exclusive story that Holmes had forwarded a notebook to a University of Colorado psychiatrist “filled with details about how he was going to kill people.” Her story was based on information she had received from law-enforcement sources who were not to discuss the case because of a gag order issued by County Judge William Sylvester.

Forbes reported,

As one might expect, the defense attorneys were not happy with the revelation, claiming that the failure of the unnamed sources to honor the gag order — and Winter’s reporting of what she had learned — violated Holmes’ right to receive a fair trial.

The defense team began an investigation into the violation of the gag order, and called a number of law-enforcement officers to the stand, all of whom denied having leaked the information. It was at that point that the defense team persuaded Colorado Judge Sylvester to issue an order forcing Winter to turn over her notes on the story. But because Winter lives in New York, she could not be forced to comply with the order.

Manhattan Judge Larry Stephen then stepped in to offer his assistance and signed off on a subpoena requiring Winter to turn over all her materials associated with the Holmes case, as per the Colorado judge’s order.

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