Report: Loughner to plead guilty to charges in Giffords shooting

Jared Lee Loughner, who was charged in the 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., which wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and killed six others, is expected to plead guilty.

Mental health professionals believe that Loughner is now competent to understand the charges against him and he is expected to present his plea in federal district court Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The Times says the terms of Loughner’s plea agreement remain uncertain and he may plead guilty on some or all counts in exchange for a lesser sentence.

ADVERTISEMENT
The report said psychiatric experts who have examined him will testify that he comprehends his actions and what happened on January 8, 2011, when police say Loughner opened fire at a constituent event for then-Rep. Giffords.

The assault severely wounded Giffords, who was shot in the head at close range. Loughner killed six others and wounded more than a dozen. 

Giffords began an arduous recovery process, which many doctors likened to a miracle, as she gradually regained the ability to speak and move. 

However, in January of this year, she announced her intention to step down from Congress to focus full-time on recovering from her injuries. 

Her former aide Ron Barber, who also suffered bullet wounds to the face and leg in the shooting, ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and defeated GOP candidate Jesse Kelly in a special election for Giffords’s seat in June. 

Rep. Barber is serving the remainder of her term and will run for reelection for a separate full term this November.