Attorney Judy Clark and defendant Jared Loughner stand before the judge in federal court Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. as shown in this artists' rendering. Suspected shooter Jared Loughner, who is charged with shooting U.S. Rep. Garbrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others, was in court for a status hearing to consider whether to order the suspect in the Tucscon, Ariz., shooting rampage to give handwriting samples to compare with documents seized in a search of his home. (AP Photo/Bill Robles)
Hide Caption
TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 8, 2011: Police quarantine the shopping center where U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and several others were shot during an event in front of a Safeway grocery store.
Hide Caption
This photo released Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, by the U.S. Marshal's Service shows Jared Loughner. The photo was taken in Phoenix while Loughner was in the agency's custody. (AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's Office)
Hide Caption
FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2011 file photo, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., takes part in a reenactment of her swearing-in, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Experts say recovery for Giffords will be a long, tough journey. Patients can make remarkable progress. But experts caution that they shouldn't expect to return to exactly the way they were before, and it’s too early to know if Giffords might be able to return to Congress. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
Hide Caption
In this file photo provided by the Green family, Christina Green is shown. Green, 9, was killed at a political event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. Donated corneas from the young girl killed in the Arizona mass shooting have saved the eyesight of two children, her father told The Associated Press Monday, Jan. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Green Family, File)
Hide Caption

Tucson shooting survivors attend Loughner hearing

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Tucson shooting suspect enters plea
Mental exam sought for AZ suspect
Tucson suspect indicted on new charges

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - In a tense courtroom scene, Susan Hileman stared intently fromher wheelchair at the smiling suspect who authorities say woundedher and 12 others and killed six people in a Tucson shootingrampage in January.

Wednesday's hearing in Tucson was the first time that survivorsof the violence, that also left U.S. Congresswoman GabrielleGiffords severely injured, came face-to-face with suspect Jared LeeLoughner since the shooting.

Two others - retired Army Col. Bill Badger and Mavanell "Mavy"Stoddard - sat on the opposite side of the courtroom as the22-year-old Loughner, whose once-shaved head featured short, darkhair and sideburns. Two U.S. marshals stood just feet behindLoughner throughout the hearing.

Badger, 74, is credited with helping to subdue Loughner at thescene after a bullet grazed the back of Badger's head.

Stoddard, 75, was shot in the leg three times. Her husband,Dorwan, dove to the ground and covered her. He was shot in the headand died at the scene.

Hileman, 58, was holding 9-year-old Christina Taylor-Green'shand when the shooting erupted. The woman was shot three times;Christina was killed.

Loughner made one brief comment, at the beginning of thehearing. The judge asked the 22-year-old if Jared Loughner was hisname. "Yes, it is," Loughner responded as he stood behind thedefense table.

Loughner then pleaded not guilty to dozens of federal charges,including trying to assassinate Giffords, attempting to kill two ofher aides, and murdering federal judge John Roll and Giffordsstaffer Gabe Zimmerman. The hearing took place in the samecourthouse where Roll worked before he was killed in thetragedy.

Loughner also is charged with causing the deaths of four otherswho weren't federal employees, causing injury and death toparticipants at a "federally provided activity" and using a gun ina crime of violence.

He likely will also face state charges stemming from the attackoutside a Tucson grocery store. Hileman, Badger and Stoddard wereamong those wounded at the meet-and-greet event held by Giffords,who is now at a Houston hospital and undergoing rigorous therapy torecover from a gunshot wound to the head.

The suspect's father, Randy Loughner, also made his firstappearance in the gallery during his son's criminal case. Dressedin a pressed charcoal-colored shirt and blue jeans, the father withbushy salt-and-pepper hair sat three rows behind his son, his armsfolded.

Randy Loughner kept his eyes fixed on the floor and wall,glancing up only a few times to see the court action. After thehearing, he rushed out of the courtroom without acknowledgingreporters asking him for comment.

Also Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns decided searchwarrants from Loughner's home should be made public. He alsoscheduled a May 25 hearing to determine if Loughner is competent tostand trial.

The search warrants contained details about the items found byinvestigators at the suspect's home, including two shotguns,ammunition and drawings of weapons.

The warrants say police also seized a printout of the U.S.Constitution, a journal, a notebook with writing, poems, songlyrics and a handwritten note that read: "What is government ifwords don't have a meaning?"

The Arizona Republic and KPNX-TV argued there was no basis fordocuments related to the search of Loughner's home to remain sealedand that the public had a right to the records. The documents havebeen sealed since Jan. 11.

Loughner's attorneys argued their client's right to a fair trialmight be harmed by the records' release. They said the documentscontain potentially inflammatory statements by a law enforcementofficer.

The judge said lawyers on both sides raised valid concerns, butlast week's indictment signaled the end of the investigation thatled to the charges. "We are past the point where there's a need forsecrecy," Burns said.

Ninety percent of the material in the search warrant records hasalready been made public, the judge added.

Burns ordered that the records be unsealed but agreed to editout some new information about the case that was eitherinflammatory or not likely to be admissible at trial.

The judge also expressed concern about Loughner's mentalcompetency and whether the defendant understands the courtproceedings.

Prosecutors had asked Burns to commit Loughner to a federalfacility where he could be evaluated by psychologists to determinewhether he suffers from a mental defect that makes him incompetentto stand trial.

Loughner attorney Judy Clarke asked that the judge confront theissue of her client's competency at a later date, arguing therequest for a mental evaluation was premature.

She said she was concerned a psychological evaluation wouldinterfere with her ability to work with and develop trust withLoughner.

But prosecutor Wallace Kleindienst said federal law allowsprosecutors to request mental evaluations for defendants.

"We have a person who was irrationally obsessed withCongresswoman Giffords," Kleindienst said, adding Loughnerdistrusts the government and judges and

believed the FBI and CIAwere bugging him.

It wasn't decided where the psychological exam would takeplace.

Previous
1 2
Next

Copyright Copyright Associated Press

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!