Loughner pleads not guilty in Tucson shooting
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The man accused in the Tucson shootings has made his second court appearance, entering pleas of not guilty Monday to charges that he tried to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and two of her staff members.
Jared Loughner will later face state charges dealing with other victims. Six people died, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl. Thirteen others were wounded.
Loughner was smiling as he entered a Phoenix courtroom Monday. His lawyer said she's not raising any issue “at this time” about his ability to understand the case against him.
Investigators have said Loughner was acting increasingly erratic in the weeks leading up to the shooting. If his attorney successfully raises mental competency as a defense, he could end up at a mental health facility instead of being sentenced to prison or death.
The judge today didn't rule on a request from prosecutors to move the federal case back to Tucson from Phoenix so that victims and witnesses do not have to make the four-hour round trip drive to attend court hearings.
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