Judge: Giffords shooter will seek to change plea

Jared Lee Loughner. Photo / AP
Jared Lee Loughner. Photo / AP

The man who killed six people and injured 13 others, including former US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson last year, will try to change his plea in an upcoming hearing, a judge said Monday.

"If the Court finds the defendant competent, his counsel has requested a follow-on change of plea hearing," said US District Judge Larry Burns.

"Assuming the Court finds the defendant competent, it will also consider whether to accept the defendant's proffered pleas at the August 7 hearing."

Last week, citing "knowledgeable sources," the Los Angeles Times reported that Jared Lee Loughner was likely to enter a guilty plea at a hearing in US District Court in Tucson early Tuesday.

Loughner, 23, has been charged in connection with the January 8, 2011, bloodbath outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords, a Democrat, was meeting with constituents.

Among the six dead were a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl and a member of the congresswoman's staff.

On Tuesday a Tucson court will decide if Loughner, who has been receiving treatment for schizophrenia for a year, is fit to stand trial. He previously pleaded not guilty.

In January 41-year-old Giffords - who had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party - resigned to focus on her remarkable but continuing recovery.

- AFP

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