DenPo columnist targets theater-shooting defense team, adds to the ugly

You know what they say about newspaper columnists? They say Rich Tosches at the Denver Post going off half cocked gives the rest of the them a bad name.

Last week Tosches wrote a “I’ve had enough” piece lamenting the delays in the high-profile trial of James Holmes, the deranged Aurora Theater shooter who killed 12 people and wounded 70 in the summer of 2012.

Needless to say, it’s both a complicated case and a long-form media event. It will take a while to come to its sad conclusion. Tosches is having none of it. He mocks the defense team for stall tactics and suggests one of the team attorneys and an investigator recently faked medical emergencies to win a continuance. Of course lawyers are an easy target and even more so, perhaps, lawyers defending a crazed mass murderer. Tosches puts on a show of shooting fish in a barrel.

“You know what they say about lawyers: It’s that 99 percent of them who give all of them a bad name,” he writes to open his piece.

[blockquote][L]ast week, we get this headline in The Post: “Holmes trial date in doubt.” A delay would create a new trial date. The sixth.

This time, the defense says, one of Holmes’ lawyers suffered a medical emergency. Oh, and a key defense investigator did, also. Neither lead defense lawyer King nor Judge Carlos Samour would name the attorney or investigator. They also did not even hint at the nature of these (cough-cough) medical emergencies. [/blockquote]

But now Holmes Defense Attorney Tamara Brady and Investigator John Gonglach have written responses to the column.

Brady’s father died this month of lung cancer.

[blockquote]I am the attorney who had the medical emergency. I didn’t intend to make all of this information public, but since Tosches called me out in public, I now welcome the opportunity.

On Dec. 5, my father, Richard Brady, died of lung cancer (“cough-cough”). He had recently turned 80, and he had just finished a grueling round of chemotherapy and radiation.

My father was born and raised in Colorado. He graduated from St. Francis High School. He played baseball and graduated with a business degree from CSU. He was a lifelong Broncos fan.

He served in the U.S. Navy, raised three children and one grandchild, and was married to my mom for 53 years. Although he had lived a long and fulfilling life, his death was still a shock, and it took my breath away. It broke my heart. He was a quiet and gentle man, and I wish I could be more like him.

He was a patriotic man who believed in the laws of our country, and the laws of Colorado (including the right to be represented by an attorney no matter what you are accused of, and the right to a fair trial).

Tosches’ reckless and heartless piece compelled clarification. He has the right to mock and belittle people in the press, but we have a right to respond.[/blockquote]

Gonglach’s daughter Camilah was born last month with cystic fibrosis.

[blockquote]In the days after her birth, our daughter began to struggle with what the doctors called “failure to thrive.” On Dec. 3, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a rare and deadly genetic disease. The reality of our daughter’s diagnosis was devastating beyond words. If we do everything right, and Camilah responds positively to therapy, drugs and treatments, her life expectancy is still less than the amount of years I have already lived on this earth. It’s painful, and frightening, and yet we have hope, because we are choosing not to surrender to our sorrow, anger and fear.

I read Tosches’ column as my daughter lay in my arms. I held her tightly as I read his flip words and accusations. It now breaks my heart to leave Camilah’s side for any length of time, knowing that her days are literally numbered. To do my job and live out what I passionately believe, I will spend the greater part of the next year of Camilah’s life away from her, working on this case in court. My father taught me to “finish what you start,” and so I will not quit on my client or this case.[/blockquote]


  1. First it was “massacre fatigue” espoused by many who just wanted this tragedy to go away. Now, it’s an attack on the attorneys who represent an arguably insane (jury is still out on that one, though, isn’t it) individual who wrecked havoc on so many and ruined so many lives in the process. Regardless of how one “feels” about this entire ordeal, the fact still remains the perp (I refuse to name him as I also refuse to name any perps who do similar) deserves what our laws afford him – a fair trial, whether we like it or not.

  2. It is both sad and disgusting to have to note that the local garbage wrapper, Denver Post, has descended to the level of “outhouse convenience” – if you don’t mind having printer’s ink all over the inside of your “tighty whites”, that is. But, it’s not at all surprising; nor is it unexpected.

    Anyone out hyar in Injun’ fightin’ country remember the old Denver Monitor – or, for that matter the old Thrifty Nickel? Both were better newspapers, and were, at least, priced accordingly – FREE.

    Ah! Well! One can find Westword at the grocery store, from time to time; and actually get some local NEWS – again, FREE (!) – not just the stale maunderings of the likes of Tosches, and old Mike Rosen, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and the rest of the garbage writers featured in DenverPOO.

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