Arizona shooting suspect moved to Missouri for mental evaluation

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 10:59 PM

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Jared Loughner, the college dropout charged in January's Arizona shooting rampage, was moved to Missouri on Wednesday for mental evaluation, the government said in legal papers.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns earlier this week ordered Loughner sent to a federal prison facility in Springfield, Missouri, where he will be examined by psychiatrists to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Loughner's mental health has been questioned since soon after the January 8 shooting, due to his documented behavioral issues at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, where he withdrew from school, and his rambling Internet posts.

Loughner faces federal charges that he opened fire on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a crowd gathered at a Tucson supermarket. The shooting killed six bystanders, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge.

In legal papers filed on Wednesday, federal prosecutors wrote, "The government hereby advises this court that, based on consultation with the U.S. Marshal, the defendant was transported to MRC Springfield on this date and is currently at that location."

Burns has said he expects a report on Loughner's mental health by May 11.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Jerry Norton)