A silent seven-second call may prove crucial to the defense of James Holmes, the gunman charged with opening fire on a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July.

One of Holmes' defense attorneys brought up the phone call while questioning university psychiatrist Dr. Lynne Fenton. The doctor is also in possession of a notebook from Holmes that she says is protected under doctor-patient privilege.

While the hang-up call could have been Holmes seeking last-minute guidance before the mass shooting, that will be difficult to prove, as hospital marketing director Brad Fixler explains.

It was a seven-second call and there was silence and then a hang-up. But nobody that evening or morning called asking for Dr. Fenton or any other psychiatrist.

Defense attorney Tamara Brady alleges that Holmes called the number nine minutes before the shooting began.

Holmes' lawyers will have to prove that these phone calls really were Holmes reaching out for help, a last-minute attempt to prevent himself from going through with his plans.

[Image via AP]