Loughner Will Plead Guilty: Source

Will likely get a life sentence in exchange for doing so
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2012 5:52 AM CDT
Loughner Will Plead Guilty: Source
Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that killed six people.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshal's Office, File)

Some 18 months after Gabrielle Giffords and a dozen others were wounded in the Tucson mass shooting that killed six, Jared Lee Loughner is set to plead guilty, two sources tell the Los Angeles Times. It reports that psych experts will on Tuesday testify that Loughner is competent do so, saying he currently does understand what happened, the charges against him, and the seriousness of those charges. This is a big change from as recent as February, when a psychologist continued to deem him incompetent to stand trial.

The Times notes that it still isn't clear if Loughner will plead guilty to some or all of the 49 federal charges he faces. As for what that plea deal will get him, an official tells the Wall Street Journal that Loughner is expected to be handed a life sentence in exchange for admitting his guilt. Survivors and family members of those harmed in the shooting would be permitted to testify in a later hearing that would precede Loughner's sentencing, adds the Times. (More Gabrielle Giffords shooting stories.)

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