Jared Loughner's hearing delayed until Sept. 28

AP News
Posted: Sep 20, 2011 2:34 PM
Jared Loughner's hearing delayed until Sept. 28

A judge has postponed a Wednesday hearing to determine whether the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage should undergo additional mental health treatment at a Missouri prison facility.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns reset Jared Lee Loughner's hearing to Sept. 28. Burns also said in a ruling released Tuesday morning that the hearing will be held in Tucson and that Loughner must be present at the hearing.

Prosecutors had argued that Loughner must be in Arizona for the hearing, while Loughner's attorneys wanted his presence waived.

The judge had originally planned to hold the hearing with defense lawyers present in his San Diego courtroom and with prosecutors in Tucson participating by video-conferencing. But Burns now says all parties must be present in Tucson for the hearing.

Loughner has been at the prison facility since May 27 after he was found to be mentally unfit for trial.

Experts concluded Loughner suffers from schizophrenia and are trying to make him mentally fit to stand trial.

Prosecutors want Loughner's nearly four-month stay at the facility extended by another eight months.

Loughner's attorneys opposed that proposal and instead argue that prosecutors failed to prove that there's a substantial probability his mental condition can be improved so that he can go to trial.

Loughner pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.