Prosecutors ask judge to deny Loughner videotaping request

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 22, 2011 8:58 PM
Prosecutors ask judge to deny Loughner videotaping request

PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors asked a federal judge on Monday to turn down an appeal by defense attorneys seeking to videotape any psychiatric evaluations of Tucson mass shooting spree suspect Jared Loughner.

Prosecutors said in the filing in U.S. District Court that no "persuasive justification" was presented for Judge Larry Burns to have Loughner's treatment filmed while he is confined to a medical facility for federal prisoners in Missouri.

Defense attorneys argued that they want the sessions videotaped to prove Loughner has echolalia, a condition where a person senselessly repeats words just spoken by another person.

Loughner, who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, has been at the facility in Springfield since May 27 in an attempt to restore him to competency so he can stand trial.

The 22-year-old has pleaded not guilty to 49 criminal charges including first-degree murder stemming from a January 8 shooting spree during a community event held by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords outside a Tucson supermarket.

Six people were killed in the shooting and 13 others were wounded, including Giffords, who was shot through the head and is recovering in Texas.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Tim Gaynor and Cynthia Johnston)