Fox News reporter Jana Winter has won a delay, but she is still facing possible jail time in a dispute over a story she wrote about the Aurora theater shooting.
The Denver Post says that Winter, who is based in New York, had been scheduled to return to court Sept. 30 for a hearing. Now, she is scheduled to return on that date only so that her subpoena can again be postponed — this time to Jan. 3.
The hearing could decide whether Winter will be ordered to testify about her sources for a story she wrote about the case.
If Winter is ordered to testify and she refuses, Judge Carlos Samour wrote in granting the delay on Tuesday, there is "the real possibility that Winter may face indefinite jail time in this case as a remedial sanction for her refusal to disclose her confidential sources."
Because of the stakes involved, Samour said Winter should be allowed to fully appeal her subpoena in New York before facing the crucial hearing.
Samour also wrote in his order that the dispute could delay the trial date for theater shooter James Holmes. Postponing Winter's hearing could avert that, though.
"If the Court proceeds with the hearing on September 30, the Court all but guarantees that the trial will be delayed because no matter what ruling the Court issues, it will very likely trigger an appeal that will stay the proceedings," Samour wrote.
Holmes' trial is currently scheduled for February, a date that would remain in place if the appeals court in New York agrees to cancel Winter's subpoena.
Last summer, Winter cited unidentified law enforcement sources in reporting that a notebook Holmes mailed to his psychiatrist before the attack contained violent drawings and plans.
Defense attorneys say the disclosures, which appear to have violated the cases's gag order, bring the integrity of investigators into question.