- (Photo: Twitter/Jared Loughner News)
Jared Loughner is due in court to issue a statement and official plea tomorrow, and reputable sources state that Loughner will plead guilty to all charges against him. Last year, Loughner opened fire at a gathering for Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords, killing six people and injuring 13.
Until now, it was widely believed that Loughner would be deemed mentally unfit to stand trial for the shootings, but now sources have told the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal that he has received treatment and will stand trial. He is expected to plead guilty as part of a plea arrangement, though the full terms of the agreement are not known.
Loughner could have faced the death penalty had prosecutors been able to pursue charges immediately after the shooting. There was evidence that Loughner had thought out the shooting and knew what he was doing when he opened fire on the crowd. "I planned ahead," read an envelope found in Loughner's home. Police said the document was signed "with what appears to be Loughner's signature."
An examination showed that Loughner was suffering from depression and possible hallucinations. The doctor for the prison where Loughner was taken reported that "the radio was talking to him and inserting thoughts into his mind." He was immediately place on suicide watch, which was a huge blow to prosecutors.
It has been over one year since the shootings, and Loughner has received medication and therapy for his psychological disorders. Doctors are expected to testify on his behalf tomorrow, in order to further argue and petition for a plea arrangement.
The last time Loughner was in court, he had to be forcibly removed after screaming incoherently. "She died in front of me!" he yelled before being removed by federal marshals. He remained convinced that Rep. Giffords had died and "became angry" when he was told that she had actually survived, reported the L.A. Times.
Giffords resigned from her position in Congress in order to focus fully on her recovery. She has been through a great deal of therapy and recently scaled a mountain in the French Alps. It was a remarkable feat for the woman who was initially reported to be dead last January.