Loughner lawyers seek stay on his commitment

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 11:13 PM
Loughner lawyers seek stay on his commitment

Lawyers for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect filed an emergency motion Friday night to keep him from being sent back to a Missouri prison facility for treatment to become mentally competent to stand trial.

A federal judge in Tucson on Wednesday extended Jared Lee Loughner's four-month commitment at the prison facility in Springfield, Mo., by another four months.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns also rejected requests by Loughner's attorneys to halt their client's forced medication with psychotropic drugs.

Prison therapists are trying to make Loughner mentally fit for trial.

Loughner, 23, has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In a 21-page motion Friday night, Loughner's lead attorney Judy Clarke asked the court to stay the commitment order pending an appeal. She told Burns in a motion earlier Friday that Loughner's lawyers intend on asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse his Wednesday ruling.

Clarke said her client's transportation and commitment back to the Springfield facility should be temporarily stayed "in the interest of preserving the status quo and preventing irreparable harm to Mr. Loughner."

Loughner attended Wednesday's hearing and Clarke said he's scheduled to be taken to Missouri as early as Tuesday.

Clarke said Loughner "continues to be medicated while he is in custody in Tucson" despite his lawyers' objections.