Judge deems Loughner incompetent to stand trial - Tucson News Now

Outburst gets defendant thrown out of court

Judge deems Loughner incompetent to stand trial

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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - A federal judge has ruled that Jared Loughner is mentally incompetent to stand trial, putting the criminal case on hold indefinitely.

The mass shooting suspect was removed from a federal courtroom Wednesday after making several outbursts.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns means 21-year-old Jared Lee Loughner will be sent to a federal facility for up to four months in a bid to restore his competency.

Wednesday's ruling comes after Loughner spent five weeks in March and April at a federal facility in Missouri, where he was examined by two court-appointed mental health professionals.

In a competency hearing, Loughner was heard yelling "she died in front of me," Barbara Grijalva said.

Three U.S. Marshals grabbed the defendant and escorted him out of the courtroom. Loughner was heard yelling other things but it was not clear what.

Grijalva said she heard him yell "thank you for the freak show," or "thank you for the free kill." Observers in the courtroom weren't sure. His final outburst was either "you're treasonous" or "you're cheating us."

The outburst happened just before Loughner was seen lowering his head as he mumbled something. The judge assigned to the case said Loughner may be allowed back in "if he composes himself."

The proceedings were paused for a recess to give Loughner's lawyer a chance to talk to her client.

He watched the rest of the proceeding on a TV screen in another room.

Grijalva described Loughner as having a beard now, with shaggy brown hair. She said he looked calm and relaxed up until the outburst. The competency hearing will determine if Loughner is mentally fit to stand trial.

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Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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