Giffords suspect to plead guilty: report
ReutersJared Lee Loughner, shown in this undated booking photograph, accused of killing six people and wounding then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in 2011, is set to plead guilty in a Tucson federal court on Tuesday, according to reports.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Jared Lee Loughner is expected to plead guilty on Tuesday to charges in 2011 shooting deaths of six people in Tucson, Ariz., and the wounding of then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to reports on Sunday.
Loughner, 23, who lived in Tucson, is scheduled to appear at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Tucson, where psychiatric experts will testify that he comprehends what happened, acknowledges the charges and can assist in his defense, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Citing two unnamed sources, the newspaper reported that details of the plea agreement remained unclear, but Loughner could receive a lengthy prison sentence and avoid facing a potential death penalty if he were convicted at a jury trial.
Reportedly a diagnosed schizophrenic, Loughner had been ruled incompetent to stand trial after the shootings in January 2011. But after 18 months of psychiatric evaluations, the case has taken a turn.
Loughner is charged with firing a fatal flurry of bullets at a political event for Giffords outside a Tucson grocery store. The shootings killed six people and wounded 13, including Giffords, who survived a bullet to her head.
Giffords, a Democrat, resigned in January to concentrate on her recovery after the House voted 408-0 for a bill that would extend anti-smuggling laws to ultralight aircraft that transport drugs into Southwestern states, including Giffords's home state of Arizona.
In May, 2011, a federal judge ruled that Loughner was mentally incompetent to stand trial, according to reports.
The ruling sent Loughner to a federal facility for treatment in attempts to restore his comprehension, the reports said.