- Pfc. Bradley Manning’s name change to Chelsea heads to court
- NYPD’s attempt at positive Twitter outreach campaign proves to be an epic fail
- Michigan man among first in U.S. to get ‘bionic eye’
- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
- Forget the Porsche — it’s the guy with the Prius that attracts the ladies, poll shows
- Fired Russian Facebook CEO says site has fallen in the hands of pro-Putin supporters
- Sen. Boozman of Arkansas has emergency heart surgery
- Brazil embraces drones to save the Amazon rain forest
Loughner change of plea hearing set
PHOENIX — The judge overseeing the deadly Tucson, Ariz., mass shooting case on Monday scheduled competency and change of plea hearings for defendant Jared Lee Loughner.
U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns' scheduling order confirms that a plea agreement has been reached in the shooting that left six dead and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others wounded.
Before Loughner can enter the plea, Burns must find that Loughner is mentally competent and understands what is happening. The hearings are set for Tuesday in Tucson.
Loughner has spent more than a year in a federal medical facility in Missouri being treated for mental illness.
Loughner had pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords was holding a meet-and-greet with constituents.
Burns had ruled that Loughner wasn't psychologically fit to stand trial, but that he could be made ready for trial after treatment. Experts have concluded that Loughner suffers from schizophrenia.
A person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Saturday that a court-appointed psychiatrist is to testify that Loughner is competent to enter a plea. The person was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The person said the plea agreement would have Loughner receive a life sentence, taking the possibility of the death penalty off the table in the federal case.
The top prosecutor in southern Arizona's Pima County said last year that she may file state charges in the case that could carry the death penalty.
The state prosecution has been suspended while the federal case went forward, and County Attorney Barbara LaWall was not available for comment on Monday. Her spokeswoman, Isabel Burruel-Smutzer, declined to comment, saying the office did not have an active prosecution against Loughner.
• Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, renegade
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- ORTEL: Putin sees opportunities as Obama turns away
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban
- Michelle Obama: Obama family Sundays are more for napping than church
- Bonuses given to IRS employes who owed back taxes
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.