Judge in Loughner case orders hearing on forced medication

CREATED Jun 28, 2011

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Web Producer: David Rush

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGUN9-TV) - A federal judge on Tuesday scheduled an emergency hearing about whether prison authorities should stop forcing the Tucson shooting rampage suspect to take anti-psychotic medication, as a new filing provided more details about his bizarre behavior behind bars.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the hearing in Jared Lee Loughner's case to be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in San Diego, where a decide could be made on whether to halt the forced medication or allow it to continue.

Loughner's attorneys are arguing that Loughner should not be involuntarily medicated without approval from a judge.

In a filing Tuesday, prosecutors argued that Loughner should be given anti-psychotic medication because he's been diagnosed as schizophrenic and poses a danger to others.

The judge in the Jared Loughner murder case ordered a hearing regarding the forced medication of the January 8 shooter. The defense said federal prison officials have decided to forcibly give Loughner anti-psychotic drugs.

Loughner has been at a mental facility ever since Judge Larry Burns ruled Loughner was not competent to stand trial. Loughner is charged with killing 6 people and injuring 20 others including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The defense filed an emergency motion last week to stop forcing Loughner from being forced to take medication. Judge Burns had twice denied the defense's request.

The hearing has been set for 2:00pm Wednesday June 29 in San Diego.