Jared Loughner: then and now - Tucson News Now

Jared Loughner: then and now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

You can't talk about Jan. 8, 2011 without at least some mention of Jared Lee Loughner.

Legally speaking, the biggest question that remains is whether or not the accused gunman will ever stand trial.

Because, even now -- we still don't know.

Loughner has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and has spent much of the last year on suicide watch.

As such, he's ruled mentally incapable of standing trial -- at least for now.

In May, an appellate judge cleared the way for him to be forcibly medicated, this after Loughner put on quite a display in Tucson with several outbursts in the courtroom.

At one point, he even referred to the judge as "your cheesiness."

As a result, Loughner was ordered to spend the next four months in a medical hospital for prisoners in Springfield, MO.

Under close observation, Loughner reportedly paced in circles for hours; he undressed in front of female nurses; he even spread feces across his confinement room.

But then in August -- when his anti-psychotic medication started to take effect --  medical officials say Loughner's behavior improved significantly.

He ate and slept more regularly, officials say, engaged in conservation.  He even expressed some remorse for what happened.

In September, Loughner returned to Tucson to learn if he was finally competent to stand trial.

His attorneys argued he should not be held in a prison hospital nor should he be forced to take anti-psychotic medication.

But based on their observations, doctors disagreed.

They said Loughner without medication is clearly a danger to himself and to others.

That said, a federal judge extended Loughner's stay at the mental facility by four months.

The judge did suggest Loughner may soon by competent enough to understand the charges against him.

At which point, legal proceedings against him could move forward.

But if Loughner's mental competency cannot be restored, the judge must make another decision.

He could continue Loughner's stay at the mental facility indefinitely.

Or -- albeit highly unlikely -- he could even dismiss the charges against him.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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