May 25th, 2011
Jared Lee Loughner is not competent to stand trial on charges of trying to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
The judge said his ruling is based on the results of court-ordered medical evaluations of Loughner at a federal hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Two medical professionals did separate evaluations of Loughner.
The U.S. attorney general will take custody of Loughner for a period not to exceed four months, during which he will be taken to a hospital for further evaluation to determine if he will become competent to stand trial.
Loughner, 22, of Tucson, Arizona, is charged with killing six people and wounding 13 more, including Giffords, D-Arizona, who was holding a meet-and-greet with constituents in Tucson at the time of the January 8 shooting.
During Wednesday's hearing in Tucson to determine Loughner's competency, marshals removed Loughner from the courtroom after an outburst in which one reporter heard him say, "Thank you for the freak show. She died right in front of me," and "You're changing ..."
After the recess, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns asked Loughner if he wanted to watch the remainder of the proceedings on a television monitor, Loughner said yes, and he was removed from courtroom.
Those killed in January's shooting were a 9-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green; John Roll, a 63-year-old U.S. District Court judge in Arizona; Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' director of community outreach; retired librarian Phyllis Scheck, 79; retired construction worker Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and retiree Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Giffords, who was shot through the head and brain, is recovering from surgery that implanted a synthetic bone and a shunt in her skull, her doctors said last week. She was in attendance last week when the Space Shuttle Endeavour took off from Florida with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in command.FULL STORY
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