March 10, 2011 in Nation/World

Accused Arizona gunman enters not guilty plea

Los Angeles Times

TUCSON, Ariz. – Accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 49 felony counts, including murder and attempted murder, in connection with a January shooting rampage here that killed six people and wounded 13, including a congresswoman.

Loughner, 22, smirked through much of Wednesday’s proceedings, held at the same federal courthouse where one of those killed, U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, had worked.

Loughner is accused of targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., at a Jan. 8 event outside a Tucson supermarket. Investigatory documents unsealed Wednesday said authorities found a note at Loughner’s home that said: “I planned ahead! My Assassination Love – Jared.”

The unsealed documents did not offer any stunning revelations, but appeared to bolster comments by authorities, friends and former classmates who have portrayed Loughner as troubled and confused.

U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns scheduled a hearing to determine whether Loughner is competent to stand trial.

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