Jared Loughner Charged in Giffords Shooting

Suspect possibly connected to anti-government group
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2011 3:17 PM CST
Jared Loughner Charged in Giffords Shooting
This March 2010 photo shows a man identified as Jared L. Loughner at the 2010 Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, Ariz.    (Mamta Popat)

(Newser) – Federal prosecutors today charged Jared Lee Loughner with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, reports the Arizona Republic. "Additional charges could be brought under domestic terrorism statutes as the investigation continues,'' said FBI director Robert Mueller. Investigators also carried out a search warrant at Loughner's home that returned some interesting items: among them, an envelope seized from a safe with messages such as "I planned ahead," "My assassination," and the name "Giffords" written on it, next to what appears to be Loughner's signature.

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Court documents also show that Loughner had contact with Giffords in the past. The safe contained a letter addressed to him, written on Giffords' congressional stationery, in which Giffords thanked him for attending a "Congress on your Corner" event at a mall in Tucson in 2007. Meanwhile, an official tells the AP authorities are looking at a possible connection between Jared Loughner and American Renaissance, an online group known for its anti-government rhetoric and white supremacist views. The second person of interest in the case has been cleared of any involvement. Click for more on Loughner, including his strange YouTube channel.
(Read more Gabrielle Giffords stories.)

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