Judge delays Loughner competency ruling four months

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A federal judge in San Diego Monday gave prison doctors
four more months to try to restore the mental competency of a man charged
with fatally shooting six people and wounding then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and
a dozen others in Arizona last year.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns, who is presiding over the case against
23-year-old Jared Loughner, extended the hospital stay because the psychologist
treating the defendant said he is making “measurable progress” with treatment
designed to get him competent to stand trial.

Loughner faces a 49-count federal indictment stemming from the Jan. 8,
2011, shooting spree outside a market in Tucson. Giffords, who was shot in the
head, resigned from Congress last month after a year of recovery.

Last May, Burns declared Loughner mentally incompetent to stand trial
and the defendant was sent to the prison in Springfield, Mo. Since then,
Loughner's attorneys have fought the government's efforts to medicate him with
anti-psychotic drugs.

If the defendant regains his mental competency, the criminal case
against him can be reinstated.

Categories: KUSI