Accused Los Angeles airport shooter to appear in court

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 02, 2013 7:57 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The man charged with killing a U.S. airport security officer in a shooting frenzy at Los Angeles International Airport is set to appear in federal court on Wednesday, a spokesman for U.S. prosecutors said.

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, was charged a day after the November 1 shooting with killing a federal officer and committing an act of violence at an international airport.

U.S. prosecutors have left open the possibility of seeking the death penalty against him. He is accused of killing one Transportation Security Administration agent and wounding two other TSA officers and an airline passenger with a rifle inside the airport, also known as LAX, before he was seriously wounded in a gunfight with airport police.

Ciancia, who last month was transported from a hospital to U.S. custody, will not enter a plea when he appears before U.S. Magistrate Judge David T. Bristow, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

Instead, the judge will make sure Ciancia has been informed of his rights and the criminal complaint filed against him, and there may be discussion of whether he might be eligible for bail as he awaits trial, Mrozek said.

A public defender has been provisionally appointed to serve as Ciancia's lawyer.

His medical condition has so far prevented him from making an initial court appearance, or from being interviewed since being taken into custody, authorities have said.

Ciancia's wounds included a gunshot to the face.

Authorities have said Ciancia appeared to have acted alone and they continued to search for a motive behind the shooting rampage.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)