Judge: Loughner can be made mentally fit for trial

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 9:17 PM
Judge: Loughner can be made mentally fit for trial

A federal judge has ruled that the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage can eventually be made mentally fit to stand trial.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Wednesday extended Jared Lee Loughner's detention for four more months, saying that "measurable progress has been made" in restoring him to competency.

Loughner has been at a prison facility in Missouri the last four months after Burns found him mentally unfit for trial.

Experts have concluded Loughner suffers from schizophrenia, and prosecutors contend Loughner can be made competent with more mental health treatment. But Loughner's attorneys argue prosecutors have failed to prove that it's probable his condition will improve enough.

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Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.