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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mental test for Loughner

Booking mug of Jared Lee Loughner. Loughner is charged with trying to assassinate U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a shooting rampage that killed six people and wounded 14, Saturday January 8, 2011. (Courtesy Pima County Sheriffs Department/MCT)

A U.S. district judge ordered alleged Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner to undergo a screening in order to gauge his mental state at a specialized facility in Missouri.

Judge Larry Burns, the presiding judge in the case, handed down the ruling on Tuesday and said Loughner must have the screening done as soon as possible,but no later than April 29. The evaluation will be videotaped and delivered to both prosecution and defense attorneys.

Lougher is accused of a shooting rampage on Jan. 8 that killed six people, including U.S. federal Judge John Roll, and wounded 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Burns limited the scope of the exam to a determination of Loughner’s competency to stand trial. The examination is not meant to determine whether Loughner was sane at the time of the shooting.

The exam will be conducted at a prison in Springfield, Mo. But Loughner’s lawyers have said they want the exam to be done in the prison where he is being held, since transferring him will hinder their ability to formulate a relationship with their client and could negatively impact his mental state.

Burns told the defense that it is free to seek its own in-house opinion, but the evaluation on record will be the one conducted in Missouri.  

Burns said he expects a final report on Loughner’s mental state to be completed by May 11.

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