Delays in Aurora theater case worse than ‘being chased with an electric chainsaw’ for reporter

Fox News investigative reporter Jana Winter has asked the judge in the Aurora theater shooting case to quickly quash a subpoena ordering her to reveal her sources, saying in a court motion that the continual delays are wrecking her life and jeopardizing her career.

Winter, who is based in New York, was subpoenaed to testify about who leaked information to her about a notebook accused shooter James Holmes mailed to his doctor that reportedly contains details about the July 20 shooting. Winter filed the motion to quash the subpoena in March, but because of continuous delays, the court hasn’t yet heard an argument on it.

The outstanding subpoena has been “extremely distracting and emotionally draining,” she wrote in her July 1 court filing. In addition, she wrote that sources won’t talk to her.

“Much of my career to date has been devoted to developing a robust roster of contacts in law enforcement, local, city, state and federal government,” she wrote. “As a result of this subpoena, about 80 percent of those individuals now refuse to speak with me at all.”

She also wrote that she has been “paralyzed with fear” after receiving harassing phone calls from Holmes supporters, and because her home address has been included on court papers filed by the defense.

“In my career, I have had a gun pointed to my head, been caught in the middle of gunfire, and been chased with an electric chainsaw,” she wrote. “I do not scare easily and this is the first time in my life I have been paralyzed with fear.”

She reiterated that if she is forced to testify, she will not “violate the bedrock tenets of my profession and I will not burn my sources.”

Such a refusal could result in a six-month jail sentence.

“I am suffering greatly,” she wrote. “My career is being diminished beyond recognition, and freedom of speech is dying a slow death for every day that the heavy weight of this subpoena presses down on me.”

The case was most recently delayed when Judge Carlos Samour granted state doctors more time to finish their mental evaluation on Holmes, who has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. It could be pushed back as far as September.

Winter’s lawyers have argued in the past that her activities as a journalist are protected under the Colorado Shield Law.

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