Loughner Pleads Not Guilty

Answers federal charges relating to Giffords, staff
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 24, 2011 2:59 PM CST
Loughner Pleads Not Guilty
   (Smiley N. Pool)

The man accused of carrying out the mass shooting in Tucson pleaded not guilty today to federal charges that he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and murder two of her aides. The plea was Jared Lee Loughner's second court appearance since he allegedly shot the congresswoman and 18 others at Giffords' meet-and-greet event on Jan. 8 outside a grocery store in Tucson. Six people died, and 13 others were wounded. He will later face state charges dealing with other victims.

At least eight US Marshals were present at the hearing in the Phoenix courthouse, where Loughner entered this afternoon smiling and wearing an orange prison suit and glasses. US District Judge Larry Burns of San Diego asked Loughner attorney Judy Clarke whether there was any question about her client's abilities to understand the case against him. "We are not raising any issues at this time," Clarke said. (Read more Gabrielle Giffords shooting stories.)

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