BREAKING NEWS: Jared Lee Loughner indicted by federal grand jury
A federal grand jury in Tucson indicted Jared Lee Loughner, 22, on three counts for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the attempted murder of federal employees, Ronald S. Barber and Pamela K. Simon.
U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke released this statement:
Today, the Grand Jury returned an initial three-count indictment against Jared Lee Loughner in the Tucson shooting case. We are in the early stages of this ongoing investigation. We have made considerable progress in a short period of time. This case also involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process. Today’s charges are just the beginning of our legal action. We are working diligently to ensure that our investigation is thorough and that justice is done for the victims and their families.
Loughner has been held in federal custody since Jan. 8. The next court hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 24.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wallace Kleindienst, Beverly Anderson, Christina Cabanillas and Mary Sue Feldmeier of the District of Arizona, Tucson. Loughner is being represented by Judy Clarke.
- PDF of gand jury indictment filed on Jan. 19, 2011
- ABCNews.com: Jared Loughner indicted in Tuscon shootings
- Bloomberg.com: Loughner indicted by U.S. grand jury in shooting of Arizona Congresswoman
- Politico.com: Jared Lee Loughner indicted in Gabrielle Giffords shooting
Update: Monday, 24 January 2011
Not guilty plea entered for Jared Lee Loughner during today’s arraignment.
- LATimes.com: Not guilty plea is entered for Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson attacks
- ABCNews.com: Accused Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner smiles through hearing
- USAToday.com: Loughner pleads not guilty in attack
Update: Friday, 4 March 2011
Update from the US Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona
TUCSON – A federal grand jury yesterday returned a 49-count superseding indictment against Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson for the murder of a federal judge and a Congressional staff member, as well as for causing the deaths of four other participants and injuries to many more during his alleged attempt to assassinate U.S. Representative Gabrielle D. Giffords at her Congress on Your Corner event held on Jan. 8.
Loughner, 22, is charged with the murder of U.S. District Judge John M. Roll and Gabriel M. Zimmerman, a staff member and Director of Community Outreach for Rep. Giffords, according to the new indictment. Loughner will also face charges for causing the death of participants at a federally provided activity, namely the killings of Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, Dorwan C. Stoddard, and a child, referred to in the indictment as C-T G., who were shot while waiting to see Rep. Giffords at the Congress on Your Corner event.
“This was an attack on Congresswoman Giffords, her constituents, and her staff,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “We will seek justice for the federal officials, Judge Roll and Gabriel M. Zimmerman, and for Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, Dorwan C. Stoddard, and C-T G. These final four Arizonans’ lives were extinguished while exercising one of the most precious rights of American citizens, the right to meet freely and openly with their Member of Congress. The deceased are not the only ones whose rights are being defended. Those citizens who were peaceably assembled to speak to their Member of Congress are also named victims in this indictment. This indictment involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process. That process is ongoing, and we will continue to work diligently to see that justice is done.”
The indictment also includes allegations brought forward in a previous indictment in January that Loughner attempted to assassinate Rep. Giffords, who was shot in the head and is undergoing rehabilitation in Houston, and attempted to murder two federal employees who worked for Giffords, District Director Ronald S. Barber and Community Outreach Coordinator Pamela K. Simon, who were both shot multiple times and are recovering Loughner will be arraigned on the new charges at a hearing on Wednesday, March 9, in Tucson before U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns. Loughner has been held in federal custody since Jan. 8. As stated previously, the Pima County Attorney’s Office intends to pursue all state charges against Loughner.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In determining an actual sentence should Loughner be convicted, Judge Burns will also consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
Burke emphasized that the procedure in any case which may result in a punishment of death requires a careful and deliberate process, and includes consultation with the victims of the crimes and their families, consideration of all evidence relevant to guilt and punishment, including aggravating and mitigating evidence, and consultation with all the law enforcement agencies investigating the case.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement team led by the FBI. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wallace H. Kleindienst, Beverly K. Anderson, Christina M. Cabanillas and Mary Sue Feldmeier of the District of Arizona, Tucson.