Loughner to Plead Guilty in Giffords Shooting, Official Says
(Wall Street Journal) Jared Loughner, the young Tucson man accused of shooting then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six people, is set to plead guilty Tuesday, an official familiar with the case said Saturday.
A psychologist appointed by the court is expected to say at the hearing that he is competent to plead guilty, the official said. A previously scheduled status hearing has been changed to a change-of-plea hearing.
Mr. Loughner is expected to agree to a life sentence under the plea deal, the official said.
In February, the psychologist said Mr. Loughner, a diagnosed schizophrenic, remained incompetent to stand trial. But she said at the time that the defendant was making progress toward competency, according to federal Judge Larry A. Burns, who is hearing the case.
News of Mr. Loughner’s plea agreement was earlier reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Loughner is accused of a mass shooting outside a Tucson grocery store in January 2011 that left six dead. Thirteen other people were wounded, including Ms. Giffords, who later resigned her seat in Congress to focus on her recovery.
In May 2011, Judge Burns declared Mr. Loughner not competent to stand trial and ordered that he be held in federal custody until he could be restored to competency.
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