Work starts on Arizona court house named for slain judge

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 30, 2011 6:49 PM
Work starts on Arizona court house named for slain judge

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Work began on Thursday on a federal courthouse in Yuma, in far west Arizona, named for a judge killed in the Tucson shooting rampage, authorities said.

Chief Judge John M. Roll was among six people shot to death by a gunman who opened fire outside a Tucson supermarket on January 8, wounding 13 others including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The groundbreaking ceremony at the John M. Roll United States Courthouse was held at 2 p.m. local time in Yuma, a spokeswoman for the U.S. District Court in Phoenix said.

Construction of the courthouse is tipped to be completed in 2013.

College dropout Jared Lee Loughner is charged with the shootings. He pleaded not guilty in March to 49 charges stemming from the shooting rampage, including multiple counts of first-degree murder.

In addition to Roll, those killed in the spree included a Giffords' aide and a 9-year-old girl. Giffords, a third-term Democrat, is still recovering from a single gunshot wound to her head.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Jerry Norton)