Tucson shooting suspect to appear at hearing today

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Lawyers for Tucson, Ariz., shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner 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.

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