Entries in Jared Lee Loughner (42)


Court Rules Jared Lee Loughner Can Refuse Anti-Psychotic Medication

Pima County Sheriff's Department(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Jared Lee Loughner, the Tuscon shooting suspect, can refuse anti-psychotic medication that prison officials had forced him to take, a federal appeals court ruled.

The ruling Tuesday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals keeps in place a July 1 order that stopped officials at a federal prison in Springfield, Mo., from forcing Loughner to take the drugs.

The Loughner case has reignited a legal debate over when prisoners with mental illness can be forcibly medicated with anti-psychotic drugs.

In May a district court concluded that Loughner was mentally incompetent to stand trial for the shootings in Arizona that killed six people, including federal Judge John Roll, wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others. If at a later date he is deemed competent for trial, the case against him will proceed in federal court.

Prison officials say they administered the drugs because he was "dangerous to himself" and others. In court papers they write that Loughner twice threw a plastic chair at one of his doctors and that he spat and lunged at his attorney in April.

The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit noted the government had an interest in Loughner, 22, being healthy enough to be determined to be competent to stand trial but that Loughner's right to be free of unwanted drugs overrode those considerations.

"Because Loughner has not been convicted of a crime, he is presumptively innocent and is therefore entitled to greater constitutional rights than a convicted inmate," said the appeals panel headed by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.

The ruling against involuntary treatment will remain in place until Loughner's appeal of the prison medical team's treatment is decided. The next hearing is Aug. 29 in San Francisco.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner's Forced Medication Ordered Temporarily Halted

Pima County Sheriff's Department(PHOENIX) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that prison officials must temporarily stop administering anti-psychotic medication to Jared Lee Loughner, who is charged in the Arizona shooting that left six people dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Prison officials at the Bureau of Prisons had ordered the drugs as part of Loughner's treatment for mental illness. Lawyers for Loughner challenged the order.

While a lower court ruled that Loughner could be medicated, a panel of judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order on Friday that temporarily blocked the involuntary medication until both sides had a chance to brief the court on the issue. The court asked for briefs by Wednesday evening.

Those killed in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage included 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green and U.S. District Judge John Roll. Loughner was tackled and disarmed at the scene by bystanders, and has since been charged in a 49-count federal indictment.

Loughner has been undergoing treatment at a government mental facility in Springfield, Mo.

In May Loughner was found mentally incompetent to stand trial for the shooting rampage in Tucson.

Loughner, 22, who has delusions and hallucinations, is paranoid schizophrenic, according to mental health professionals. Loughner's mental health evaluation also found that he had an "irrational" distrust of his lawyers.

Prosecutors said they hoped Loughner would become mentally competent enough to stand trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Emergency Hearing Scheduled in Jared Loughner Case

Pima County Sheriff's Department(SAN DIEGO) -- Jared Lee Loughner, charged in the Tucson, Ariz., shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for an emergency hearing to determine whether prison officials should stop forcing him to take anti-psychotic medication.

The emergency hearing comes after the release of a new court filing that offered insight into Loughner's disturbing behavior and raised more questions about whether he could ever be considered psychologically fit enough to stand trial.

Tuesday's filing said that on April 4 Loughner spat at his lawyer and lunged at her before prison staff restrained him.

The filing also said that an angry Loughner used profanities and threw a plastic chair at a psychiatrist multiple times during a taped interview on March 28. He also hurled a wet toilet paper roll at a camera that was in the room.

Prosecutors are using these incidents to argue in the court filings that Loughner should be given anti-psychotic medication. They claim he is a danger to others.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns called for today's emergency meeting at 2 p.m. in San Diego to try to resolve whether the forced medication should be continued.

Last month, Burns ruled that Loughner was not competent to stand trial because he was a paranoid schizophrenic and delusional. The judge has also denied two requests from Loughner's attorneys that they be notified before he is medicated.

Loughner has been held at a prison medical facility in Springfield, Mo., where psychiatrists are trying to restore his mental health so that he can participate in court proceedings. He arrived at the facility on May 28 and could spend up to four months there.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the 49 charges against him stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Tucson Welcomes Home Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was back in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend for the first time since the shooting incident in early January that nearly claimed her life.

Giffords met with family members and friends in her home city but made no public appearances.  Still, it was an emotional homecoming for the Arizona Democrat following months of intensive rehabilitation in Houston.

Giffords was holding a meet-and-greet event with constituents in front of a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8 when police say that 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner shot her in the head and then opened fire on others, killing six people and wounding 12 more.

Despite initial reports that Giffords didn't survive the shooting, doctors were able to save her life, although the bullet that passed through the left side of Giffords' brain has resulted in an arduous recovery that will continue at the Houston home Giffords shares with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

During her return to Tucson, a Giffords aide said, "Tucson has come to feel the same way about Gabrielle Giffords, if they haven’t already, as she feels about them.  From what I can understand, from what I’ve heard, folks down here are really glad to have her back, if only for a short visit."

Loughner, meanwhile, was ruled unfit to stand trial, although he is receiving treatment at a mental facility in order to enable him to face the 49 federal charges against him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner Mentally Incompetent to Stand Trial

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Lee Loughner has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and 13 wounded, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.

Before being declared mentally incompetent Wednesday by federal judge Larry Burns, Loughner yelled: "Thank you for the freak show," "She died in front of me" and "You're treasonous." He was removed from the courtroom.

Loughner, 22, is paranoid schizophrenic, suffering from delusions and hallucinations, according to mental health professionals. His mental health evaluation also found that Loughner had an "irrational" distrust of his lawyers.

Loughner will be treated for his illness and reevaluated by the court in four months, but there is no guarantee he will improve enough to stand trial. Russell Weston, for instance, walked into the U.S. Capitol in 1998 and allegedly killed two police officers. Twelve years later, he has yet to stand trial.

Charges against Loughner include attempting to assassinate a member of Congress and the killing of a federal judge. But Loughner's mental health has been a subject of speculation since the shootings. Even before January, Loughner's troubled mental state had been noticed by former friends and classmates, as well as by the police at Pima Community College, where he was a student.

Loughner has been in custody since being arrested at the scene of the shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Accused Tucson Shooter Mentally Competent to Stand Trial?

Pima County Sheriff's DepartmentUPDATE: A federal judge on Wednesday ruled Jared Lee Loughner incompetent to stand trial.

(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- There is apparently overwhelming evidence that Jared Lee Loughner shot and killed people in cold blood last January, including testimony from eye witnesses who pulled a hot pistol from his hands.

But is Loughner mentally competent to stand trial?  That is the question about which U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns will hear arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys in a Wednesday hearing at federal court in Tucson, Arizona.

The judge has been reviewing two sealed evaluations from a psychologist and a psychiatrist reflecting on Loughner’s mental state.  The issue is whether he understands the charges against him and is able to participate in his own defense.

There are arguments on both sides for both possibilities.  On one hand, Loughner is clearly troubled -- likely suffering from some form of mental illness.  On the other, there are reports that Loughner looked up information on the Internet about lethal injections before the assault and meticulously planned the Tucson shooting, which left six people dead and wounded 13 others, including Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Emails Released Depict Loughner's Behavior Before Tucson Shooting

Pima County Sheriff's Department(PHOENIX) -- New emails released Thursday by Pima Community College, where accused Tucson, Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner attended, shed light on his behavior before he allegedly killed six people and injured 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in January.

The emails paint Loughner as a struggling student with emotional problems.

In one, a student complained to a writing teacher that Loughner put a knife on his desk.  In another, a teacher said she wanted to remove Loughner from class after repeated problems.  The dean demanded the matter get quick attention and was told campus police were looking into Loughner's background.

The emails showed that college officials contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to find out if Loughner had any guns in his possession but no firearms turned up in their check.

On Sept. 29, 2010, Loughner was suspended from the school and told he couldn't return unless he underwent a mental evaluation.

The college was court-ordered to release 255 pages of emails after a local newspaper, The Arizona Republic, filed a lawsuit, requesting that the emails be made public.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner Pleads Not Guilty to 49 Charges, Including Murder

Pima County Sheriff's Departmen(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Loughner, accused of opening fire on a Tucson, Ariz., crowd in January, killing six people and wounding 13 others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 49 charges, including murder.

Wearing a tan prison jumpsuit and a large grin, Loughner, 22, only said, "Yes, it is," when a federal judge asked him if his name was correctly entered in the court record.

Wearing the same smirk he had in the mug shot taken after his arrest, Loughner still had his head shaved but had grown a wispy beard.

Thirteen people were wounded and another six people, including a nine-year-old girl, were killed Jan. 8 at an event Giffords, D-Ariz., was hosting outside a Tucson grocery store.

Inside the courtroom were several victims and family members, including a wheelchair-bound Suzie Heilman. Heilman was injured at the shooting at the store, where she brought a neighbor girl, nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, who was fatally shot.

Loughner was arraigned on 49 new federal charges that included the murders of U.S. District Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman.

He was charged with causing the deaths of four other people, causing injury and death to participants at a federally provided activity, and using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.

Loughner previously pleaded not guilty to earlier charges that he tried to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides.

The college student also likely will face state charges in Arizona following a federal trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Jared Loughner Due in Court Wednesday

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Jared Loughner -- the man accused of opening fire at a political event in Tucson, Arizona in January killing six and wounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords -- is due in a Tucson court Wednesday. 

Prosecutors are asking the court to order psychiatric testing for Loughner to figure out if he's fit for trial. Defense attorneys say he may very well have mental issues so complex that a trial this year -- or even next year -- won't be possible.

His attorney is now proposing January of 2013 for a trial.  The judge has said he wants the trial to begin by September 20th and he could set a trial date in court Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jared Loughner Faces Murder, Attempted Assassination Charges

Pima County Sheriff's Department(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Alleged Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner has been indicted for the murder of U.S. District Judge John M. Roll and Gabriel M. Zimmerman, the staffer for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Loughner will also face charges for causing the death of Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, Dorwan C. Stoddard, and Christina Taylor Green.

"These final four Arizonans' lives were extinguished while exercising one of the most precious rights of American citizens, the right to meet freely and openly with their Member of Congress.," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a statement.

This indictment involves potential death-penalty charges and will now begin the Capital Case Review process by the Justice Department.

"The deceased are not the only ones whose rights are being defended," Burke said. "Those citizens who were peaceably assembled to speak to their Member of Congress are also named victims in this indictment."

A previous indictment alleged that Loughner attempted to assassinate Rep. Giffords and attempted to kill two other federal employees.

Loughner will be arraigned on the new charges March 9.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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