Judge: Loughner not competent to stand trial in Arizona shootings
No longer bald and clean-shaven as he was shortly after his January arrest, Loughner on Wednesday had a full head of hair, along with facial hair.
May 25th, 2011
03:18 PM ET

Judge: Loughner not competent to stand trial in Arizona shootings

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.

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Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Crime • Justice
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. rachael Oneil

    I Was viciously attacked with a 12inch filet knife by my mentally ill stepson. . he planned out everything. even where to put my body. what he didnt plan on was my ability to fight back. these people know exactly what they are doing. and should be executed!

    May 26, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. CorruptUS

    This is such BS. I hate all this mentally incapable crap. He know what he was doing and that it was wrong. Thusly he should be tried and sent to Jail where someone can sodomize him with a broken off splintered wooden broomstick for the rest of his life. We are WAY to easy on people within our judicial system. People get let off for stealing like Lindsay Lohan and if someone acts nutty than they don't stand trial. We are a bunch of IDIOT here in the US. We really need to take a page from the Chinese system and punish people so severally that people will not take the chance of doing something awful like this for fear of the reprocusions. This is PATHETIC

    May 26, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • btobes

      DA HOOK!

      May 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • robowan

      Thusly is not a word.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. S.B. Hufstedler

    Where are all the political snobs who were so quick to blame conservative talk shows for Loughner's actions? They even blamed Sarah Palin for referring to the "Target" and "Cross Hairs" of an ARizon district.
    They rushed to the microphone and to their pens to write their bleeding hearted pleas for "civilized discussions," and an end to hate speach. Why not a civilized admission that they were WRONG? Loughner is evil and sick. No political talk show could drive him to anything.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • john kesrouan

      They can't admit they were wrong because liberals are hypocrites, it's that simple. When Russel Eugene Weston went gunning for Tom DeLay in his pursuit of a "army of cannibals" no political motives were ascribed. Jared Lee Loughner is no different he fixated on David Icke's thesis that a "reptilian bloodline rules the world". The liberal media is pathetic and they fully demonstrated it with their attacks on Palin, Limbaugh and Beck.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike W

      Good point, a person who has been judged mentally unstable could NEVER have been influenced by inflammatory rhetoric from Sarah Palin or anyone else. Who could have imagined that an individual who is having trouble determining the difference between reality and fantasy might also have difficulty realizing that putting a crosshairs over someone is just a metaphor for political action and not a call to arms?

      May 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Informed

    Mental illness is so misunderstood . CNN should do a story on: the process someone being declared mentally incompetent to stand trial; the process of someone re-gaining mental competency to stand trial with treatment; and the sentencing of a person when insanity is present. And finally, the greatest impact would be if regular citizens could increase their understainding of what can/should be done to prevent these tragedies in cases of mentally ill individuals who develop symtoms of dangerousness. We should spend more resources on education, prevention, and treatment.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. hanna


    May 26, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ragnar67

    AND this from the same U.S. court system that is forcing the release of 33,000 convicted felons in California because their standard of living is below the national standard? Only wish I could swing full Medical, Housing, Education, Clothing, Plus congenital visits from anyone willing and all for free!! Wait sounds like a member of congress, Huh?

    May 26, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
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