James Eagan Holmes, the suspect in the July 20 Aurora Colorado movie theater shooting, tried to reach a psychiatrist nine minutes before the attack.
Attorneys are trying to obtain a notebook belonging to the suspect that reportedly contains a violent description of the mass shooting.
Prosecutors suffered a setback on Thursday when a judge ruled that they couldn't disprove a doctor-patient relationship between Holmes and the University of Colorado psychiatrist.
With the new revelation, the focus of the investigation is on whether 24-year-old Holmes sent the notebook to Dr. Lynne Fenton for use in therapy or treatment.
However, prosecutors disagreed with the argument. "He intended to be dead or in prison after this shooting," Chief Deputy Karen Pearson said in court.
Defense attorney Tamara Brady objected to Pearson's argument and said that a doctor patient relationship existed – even though Fenton hadn't seen Holmes since June 11.
"I'm feeling bad, please stop me. Do something. Help me," Brady said was the possible message Holmes was trying to send to his psychiatrist.
The defense claims Holmes is mentally ill, while prosecutors suggest Holmes was angry at a failing academic career and efforts to withdraw from a doctoral program at CU.
During questioning, Brady revealed that Holmes reached out to Fenton nine minutes before the shooting by calling a hospital switchboard that could reach the psychiatrist after business hours.
Meanwhile, the University of Iowa released records showing it rejected Holmes from a graduate neuroscience program last year after he visited campus for an interview and left the program director bluntly warning colleagues: "Do NOT offer admission under any circumstances."