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. Donald in CA

    Loughner might prove not to be crazy but he sure looks the part. I wonder how the parents feel that they brought this monster in the world. Sarah palin might be the only person with a little sympathy for him.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      From all accounts, it sounds like the parents were worried. They are likely mortified- and if I were you, I wouldn't pass judgement on them. The story is not complete, and his issues may very well not be their fault. Patience and prudence, sir.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaraJade

      ...really? A Sarah Palin attack, on this article? I'm not even a republican but seriously this is getting ridiculous. Palin was immediately brought up after this incident even though she has nothing to do with it and has done nothing but express her outrage and sorrow at this attack. As she recieves numerous threats against her and her family I would think she would be the last person to be sympathizing with this wack job (who, btw was liberal.) Seriously, if you want to argue with her political opinions and whatnot that's one thing, but really I'm so over her being blamed for everything that ever happens in this country.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveInDenver

      Marajade: I agree with you about pain,er Palin having nothing to do with this. However, the actual news agencies have reported that Loughner has no evidence of liberal or conservative persuasion. Turn off faux news and limbaugh once in a while. It would really help break a little reality through the faux news vacuum.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Yes or the Dumbocrats who use targets and bullseyes in their campaigns might have sympathy too. Partisan morons like yourself and Mrs.Palin are ruining this country with your big mouths and tiny brains.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. clarke

    Well he was competent enough to fool the Doc's and the judge. That is how crazy he is and they fell for it.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      And his community college just randomly asked him to get a mental health clearance before he could go back, right? Come on, use your brain and not your emotions: the guy is nuts. He'll be locked up one way or another for the rest of his miserable life anyway, so what are you worried about?

      May 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SteveInDenver

      I have long wondered how you determine insanity with regard to a murderer. A mentally healthy person would not commit pre meditated murder. Anyone who would is psychopathic, and therefore not playing with a full deck.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Iamrightyouarewrong

    I just wish I had the balls to do what he did. This system is so corrupt.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      And there is no reason to resist violently. Resist by protesting, speaking out, organizing, and change things the right way. The side that eschews violence has the moral high ground. The system does need change- tell everyone you know how you feel. If we let Washington know in no uncertain terms, we will win. Populist movements have come and gone in our history, and it is time for another.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Or you could just bump off a couple opinion journalists, oil speculators, and/or corrupt elected officials? Jared's problem other than being nutty is he went after a congresswoman that was getting the public engaged in politics, not just making back room deals and telling us what we need to know. A little girl was killed and who knows if the judge was dirty or not? I pray we never need an armed revolution in this country, but if we do we can't just act like an angry mob that goes after those that don't deserve it. Things do need to change though. Peaceful assembly does NOT always work and I can use Wisconsin as the latest example. Voting requires years of waiting that many people simply don't have the time for. Even if you vote only on one issue you may be electing someone horrible just to get your one issue taken care of.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • PETE

      there's a pretty fine line between having "balls" and just being a freakin' moron. and if you think shooting a 9 year old girl because you disagree with a politician, then you're an idiot. i can only hope that you are standing inthe crowd the next time some whinin' coward, just like you, decides to hide behind a gun and kill innocent people.

      May 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chuck

    Why waste time and money for a trial.
    How many witnesses does it take to say "YES, that was the person that had a gun and pulled the trigger"; case closed.
    Now, let's get the rope.

    GAME OVER!

    May 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Cricket

    @iamright:

    WHAT?!???
    You WANT to go out and kill people?

    May 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Huh?!???

    God, what a bunch of bloodthirsty people!

    May 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chuck

    Cricket,
    Are you asking me?
    I feel that Jared is useless and there is no place in society for him.
    He should not be breathing good air.
    This is a very clear case (open and close) and at the end of the day he should be executed. No prison is necessary; no long trial is necessary.
    One day is all we will need.
    Warm up the electric chair.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Michael

    Loughner would fit in just fine at a Tea Party rally.
    See comment by "iamrightyouarewrong" for confirmation – fundamentalists all think alike. It's too bad all nations can't send their fundamentalists to the same remote island and let them practice fundamentalism on each other until there is no one left.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chuck

    Why make this political? There is nothing political about this case.
    Many people witnessed him commit the crime.
    Many people are dead.
    He should also be dead.
    No more need to be said; it's simple.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    @Chuck:

    I said the "What?!?" to iamright.

    What I said to you was at the end of your quote. I didn't separate the two, thought I did.

    It pertained to Hitler thinking the same way as you.

    Unfortunatly, there is no reply feature on my blackberry.

    May 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    Oh, btw, I'm Cricket also. Trying to full the trolls, but I just outed myself. Duh! 🙂

    May 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Is that why you were flirting with me earlier?

      May 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      @banasy: is that why you were flirting with me earlier?

      May 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. T

    This is where our justice system needs to pull their head outta their rectum. He's ACCUSED?! of killing people? That idiot was caught in the act. Why are we wasting tax payers money with trial, and incarceration?? You did it, you got caught doing it, now it's time to pay.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. catmandude

    Loughner is crazy but that did not stop the gun manufacturer or the store that sold him the weapon and bullits he used to shoot those inoccent people. They are the ones who are responsible for this killing feild in Az and they ought to be held accountable for the actons odf this crazy dirtbag.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    This is pathetic. He KILLED and tried to kill more than 20 people!! Put him to death like the sick dog he is.

    May 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy

    @Cesar:
    When did I flirt with you? Are you talking about the Bud Light thing? Everyone knows you like Bud Light in a glass!

    May 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Bud Light in a glass, because Bud heavy goes right to my thighs and &$$!

      May 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
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