Tucson shooting suspect to appear at hearing today

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Associated Press

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 6:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 7 at 7:01 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Lawyers for Tucson, Ariz., shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner (LAWF'-nur) will have to convince a judge that the 23-year-old is competent enough to agree to a plea deal.

Loughner is scheduled to attend a hearing today during which his attorneys and prosecutors will argue before U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns that Loughner is no longer mentally unfit for trial.

Loughner is accused of carrying out the January 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13 others, including then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Experts had concluded that Loughner has schizophrenia, and officials at a federal prison have forcibly medicated him with psychotropic drugs for more than a year.

A court-appointed psychiatrist is expected to testify today that Loughner is competent to enter a plea.

Sound:

018-c-18-(Bob Christie, AP correspondent)-"about it anymore"-AP correspondent Bob Christie reports that some families of the Tucson shooting victims were relieved to hear of a possible guilty plea deal. (7 Aug 2012)

<<CUT *018 (08/07/12)>> 00:18 "about it anymore"

017-c-24-(Bob Christie, AP correspondent)-"of plea hearing"-AP correspondent Bob Christie reports there are back-to-back hearings scheduled for Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the 2011 Tucson shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. (7 Aug 2012)

<<CUT *017 (08/07/12)>> 00:24 "of plea hearing"

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