Loughner found incompetent to stand trial
Web Producer: Marissa Pasquet
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns has determined Jared L. Loughner is not mentally competent to stand trial.
Loughner, 22, appeared in his competency hearing, where he was heard making several loud outbursts and was escorted out of the courtroom by U.S. Marshals. At the time of the outburst the discussion was over a public records request.
Loughner was heard yelling, "she died in front of me." According to courtroom sketch artist Maggie Keene, Loughner said, "thanks for the freak show," "you're treasonous."
The judge ordered a ten minute recess to decide if Loughner will be allowed to return to the room, and said he may be allowed back in if he composes himself.
Judge Burns ruled Loughner is so mentally ill and so poorly focused he can not understand his legal options so he's unfit for trial. The judge relied on reports by two mental health experts, and twelve hours of video of them examining Loughner.
A psychiatrist and psychologist both found Loughner is so poorly focused they had trouble administering standard mental health tests. They say he's a paranoid schizophrenic, plagued with bizarre thinking and delusions who rejects any suggestion he's mentally ill.
The clincher for the judge is the finding Loughner has only a vague idea of the criminal case against him, and little ability to make rational decisions about pleas and other choices he would have to make in his defense.
Loughner is the suspect in the Tucson Jan. 8, 2011 shooting rampage that wounded U.S. House Rep. Gabrielle Giffords along with 12 others, and killed six people, including 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, and a federal judge.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the shooting at the meet-and-greet event on Tucson's northwest side.