Judge sets competency hearing in Loughner case

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2011 4:51 PM
Judge sets competency hearing in Loughner case

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing to determine if the suspect in the Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage is competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Larry Burns to commit Jared Lee Loughner to a federal facility where he could be evaluated by psychologists to determine whether he suffers from a mental defect.

Prosecutors say Loughner's menacing Internet postings suggest he may have mental issues.

Burns said Wednesday he has concerns about whether Loughner understands the proceedings.

Loughner's attorneys asked the judge to wait 30 to 60 days before holding a hearing on whether Loughner is competent to stand trial. The judge agreed, setting the hearing for May 25.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured in the Jan. 8 attack outside a Tucson grocery store.