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Entries in Jared Lee Loughner (42)

Friday
Nov092012

Mark Kelly: Loughner's Sentencing 'Not Exactly Closure, But It Is Resolution'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Ex-astronaut Mark Kelly spoke to ABC's Diane Sawyer Thursday night about what it was like to be in the courtroom with his wife, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced.

Loughner, 24, went on a shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 8, 2011, killing six people and wounding 13 others, including Giffords, who was forced to retire due to the severity of her injuries.  

On Thursday, he was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years, without parole.  Loughner pleaded guilty in a deal that allowed him to avoid the possibility of a death sentence.

Kelly said on World News with Diane Sawyer that he and Giffords now had “some sense of resolution.  Not exactly closure, but it is resolution.”

Loughner, he said, was “a little defiant in the way looking at us and looking at Gabby.  I got the sense he was trying to intimidate us, especially my wife.”

While her husband addressed the court on her behalf, Giffords stared into Loughner’s eyes.

”She stared into his eyes the entire time.  I saw a person [Loughner] who certainly has major mental illness, but who knew where he was and why he was there,” Kelly said.

Loughner, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia after the shooting, is under orders to forcibly receive anti-psychotic medication.  He is currently being held at a prison medical facility in Missouri.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug072012

Jared Lee Loughner Expected to Change Plea to Guilty

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The man accused of going on a shooting spree in Tucson, Ariz., last year is expected to change his plea to guilty in federal court Tuesday.

Jared Lee Loughner is charged with killing six people on Jan. 8, 2011, and wounding 13 others, including former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  In March 2011, he pleaded not guilty to 49 counts, including six first-degree murder charges, which carry a possible death sentence upon conviction.

A source familiar with the case told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that Loughner, who has been treated for a mental disorder while under arrest, will receive a term of life in prison in exchange for his new plea.

Despite his illness, mental health officials believe Loughner is competent enough to comprehend the charges against him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug062012

Jared Lee Loughner Reportedly Set to Plead Guilty

Pima County Sheriff's Department(NEW YORK) -- The man accused in the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is set to plead guilty in court Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal.

A source familiar with the case told the newspaper that Jared Lee Loughner, who has been treated for a mental disorder while under arrest, will receive a term of life in prison for his plea.

Despite his illness, mental health officials believe Loughner is competent enough to comprehend the charges against him.

In March 2011, Loughner, 24, pleaded not guilty to 49 counts, including six first-degree murder charges, which carry a possible death sentence upon conviction.

Giffords was meeting with constituents as she regularly did on Jan. 8, 2011 when, police said, Loughner began opening fire with a handgun, striking Giffords at point-blank range.

Among the six people Loughner allegedly murdered were U.S. District Court Judge John Roll, Gabriel Zimmerman, an aide to Giffords, and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.

Giffords is still recovering from a bullet wound to the brain and decided last year not to run for re-election.  One of her closest aides, Ron Barber, who was also wounded in the Tucson shooting, was chosen by voters last June to serve out the remainder of Giffords' terms that ends in December.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan062012

One Year after Tucson Shootings

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- A year after shootings in Arizona which left six people dead and injured 13 others including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several commemoration events are being held in Tucson.

The shootings occurred outside a Safeway store where Giffords was holding a public meeting with constituents. The congresswoman, who is still recovering after being shot in the head by gunman Jared Lee Loughner, arrived in Tucson on Friday.

Giffords and her husband retired Navy captain Mark Kelly will attend a candlelight vigil at the University of Arizona on Jan.8.  Other events include bell ringing throughout the city, an interfaith service at St. Augustine Cathedral and trail walks.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Judge Declines Hearing About Jared Lee Loughner’s Forced Medication

Pima County Sheriff's Department(PHOENIX) -- A federal judge Tuesday declined to order a special hearing to discuss a prison hospital’s decision to forcibly medicate accused killer Jared Lee Loughner.

Loughner was determined in the spring to be mentally incompetent to stand trial for the shootings in Arizona that killed six people, including federal Judge John R. Roll, and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others. He has since received treatment at a prison hospital in Missouri.

Ruling that Loughner is being “legitimately medicated,” United States District Judge Larry Alan Burns said Tuesday that the purpose of the medication was to stop Loughner from hurting himself and others.

Loughner’s lawyers have argued that he is being medicated for the purposes of restoring him to competency at trial. As such, they believe the court must subject the government to stricter standards regarding the administration of the medication.

But Burns ruled that for now, the hospital’s decision needs no further evaluation and that “the Court will give fresh and full consideration to the defense’s concerns before it makes any definitive finding that the defendant has been restored to competency.”

On Sept. 28, the judge extended Loughner’s commitment to the hospital for four more months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep292011

Judge: Alleged Tucson Shooter Can Be Mentally Fit to Stand Trial

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- After getting feedback from doctors, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that alleged Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner can be made mentally competent enough to stand trial with further treatment.

Loughner, who has been in a prison mental health facility since May, is accused of killing six people and wounding 13 others -- including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- in Tucson on Jan. 8.  If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

A psychologist who has visited Loughner nearly every day since March said on Wednesday that Loughner has clearly responded well to the forced medication -- especially over the last two months -- and believes Loughner will be restored to competency in the coming months.

The doctor said Loughner's thoughts are more organized, his memory has improved and that he is taking better care of himself.  But, the doctor added, Loughner is still very despressed.  A suicide note was found on his bed recently, and he remains on suicide watch.

As a result, Judge Larry Burns ordered further evaluations and updates on Loughner.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep282011

Accused Tucson Shooter Jared Lee Loughner Returning to Court

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The man accused of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others in Tucson, Arizona earlier this year will be back in federal court Wednesday.

The judge is expected to address the question of whether or not Jared Lee Loughner could ever be made well enough to stand trial.  He could order Loughner, who has been in a prison mental health facility since May, back to the hospital for months of additional evaluation.

Doctors at the facility say Loughner has been uncooperative and hostile.  They received court permission in June to forcibly medicate him in hopes of restoring his mental competency and thus, clearing the way for a trial.

But Loughner's lawyers have fought the involuntary treatments as illegal, harmful and potentially fatal to their client.  The forced medication was halted for awhile but was resumed two months ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep202011

Jared Lee Loughner Ordered Back to Tucson

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Federal Judge Larry Alan Burns has ordered that Jared Lee Loughner return to Tucson, Ariz., to attend a hearing on his competency to stand trial for killing six people and wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Loughner has been in a treatment facility in Springfield, Missouri, since May, when he was found incompetent to stand trial.

The government is asking the court to extend Loughner’s commitment at the facility for the purposes of restoring him to competency to stand trial.

Loughner’s lawyers oppose the extension and are asking the court to find that the government has “failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial probability that Mr. Loughner’s mental condition can be improved such that the trial might proceed.”

The Bureau of Prisons has said in court papers that Loughner remains incompetent, but that he has “slowly responded to medication.”

Loughner’s lawyers say the forced medicine has made him worse.

“He is on a host of psychotropic medications,” they write in court papers, “all administered against his will."  The lawyers note that the side effects of the medication include restlessness, agitation, pacing, dizziness, thick tongue and constipation.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 1:30 in Tucson.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug192011

Jared Loughner's Defense Team Examining Family's Mental Health

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Lee Loughner's defense team is delving into his family's medical history, possibly looking for evidence of mental illness.

Loughner, who faces 49 charges stemming from the Tucson, Arizona shooting spree that killed six people and injured 13 others, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia -- a chronic, severe disabling brain disorder that has a significant genetic component.  And in a move that could bolster his defense, Loughner's lawyers have subpoenaed public health records from 22 of his maternal relatives dating back to 1893, The New York Times reported.

"If there are a lot of people who have a schizophrenia diagnosis in his family, that does sort of add weight to the issue that this kid was at a huge genetic risk," said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.  "It could have emotional effect on a jury.  It could heighten the sense that this was not his fault."

Loughner's mental health has been the subject of much attention since his arrest in the Jan. 8 shootout at a constituent meet-and-greet with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who sustained a gunshot wound to the head, but miraculously survived.  A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that 22-year-old Loughner has delusions and hallucinations -- psychotic symptoms that can distort a person's perception of reality.

"We know that psychotic illnesses run in families," said Raison, adding that the genetic contribution to mental illness can be as high as 70 percent, depending on the diagnosis.  "People with schizophrenia are often related to other people with schizophrenia and to people who are odd or isolative...It's not a specific disease state that's inherited; it's this vulnerability to have this sort of odd behavior or odd way of thinking."

In May, a federal judge deemed Loughner mentally unfit to stand trial.  But it's his mental state at the time of the attack that will determine his sentence.

"The only way to really assess what role psychosis played in his actions is for him to be able to explain what he thought he was doing," said Raison, adding that psychotic people tend to have a logical rationale for their delusional thought process.  "No matter how bizarre the reasoning is, it makes sense.  We don't believe it, but it makes sense."

Loughner has been forced to take antipsychotic drugs during his stay at a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Missouri, and a hearing scheduled for Sept. 21 will determine whether his mental state has improved enough for him to participate in his defense.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul252011

Accused Tucson Shooter Loughner: 'Give Me the Injection, Kill Me Now'

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- As defense attorneys continue to fight against the forced medication of Jared Lee Loughner, accused in the Tucson, Ariz., shooting spree that killed six people and injured 13 others, court papers reveal his emotional state and why he's being forcibly medicated: Prison officials have deemed him a danger to himself.

A federal court Friday denied an emergency motion by Loughner's defense team that Missouri doctors cease forcibly medicating him.

One prison doctor said that on July 8 Loughner reported he was depressed and "expressed regret for the circumstances that led to his arrest. He also reported that the radio was talking to him and inserting thoughts into his mind."

Doctors ordered that Loughner be placed on suicide watch.

While under suicide watch, Loughner "began pacing quickly in circles near his cell door" and was heard "screaming loudly and seen crying for hours at a time," according to court documents. "He was observed rocking back and forth in the showers."

One doctor reported that Loughner was often viewed as "inconsolable, uncooperative and unresponsive" and "also displayed hypersexed behavior." He talked about the "killings" and the possibility of receiving the death penalty and sobbed uncontrollably for 55 minutes. At one point Loughner said, "I want to die. Give me the injection, kill me now."

A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments regarding Loughner's forced medication in August after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday night denied an emergency motion by defense lawyers to keep prison officials from forcibly medicating Loughner with a psychotropic drug.

Loughner, 22, has pleaded not guilty in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that killed six and left 13 others wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Loughner was declared mentally unfit to contribute to his defense by a federal judge and is being held in Springfield, Mo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio