Loughner Deemed Incompetent to Stand Trial

'Thank you for the freak show,' he tells judge
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 2:22 PM CDT
Attorney Judy Clark and defendant Jared Loughner sit before the judge during a competency hearing.   (AP Photo/Bill Robles)
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(Newser) – A federal judge declared today that Jared Lee Loughner is mentally incompetent to stand trial in the shooting of Gabby Giffords, reports the Arizona Daily Star. Doctors testified that he is schizophrenic and would not be able to understand the proceedings. The ruling came after Loughner was removed from the court hearing after an outburst. "Thank you for the freak show," he said at one point. "She died in front of me." He watched the remainder of the hearing on TV.

The decision does not mean that Loughner is in the clear on an insanity defense. Instead, he will be transferred to a mental hospital for a period of no longer than 4 months to see whether his mental capacity improves, explains the Daily Star. If it does, he would then stand trial.

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