The Florida Bar - Board Certified Badge
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent Badge
Super Lawyers - Michael B Cohen Badge

Murder/Attempted Murder charges (Jared Lee Loughner)

Criminal defense Attorney
Murder/Attempted Murder

According to CNN, the criminal defense attorney's for Jared Lee Loughner, (the man who was charged in the mass shooting outside an Arizona supermarket in 2011), are expected to enter a guilty plea on at least one of the numerous felony counts of murder and attempted murder against him; if and when he is able to stand trial by reason of his competency no longer being in doubt. In May 2011, Loughner was affirmed incompetent after an preliminary assessment period located in a federal mental hospital in Missouri and was felt not to be able to stand trial.

Although numerous news sources have already confirmed that he has finally been found mentally competent to answer for his alleged crimes, at this time, The U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona and Mr. Loughner's criminal defense attorneys have declined to comment on those reports.

According to his criminal defense attorney's, Mr. Loughner suffers from schizophrenia and has been receiving medical treatment for a few months. Due to his noticeable suicidal tendencies, he was forced to take anti-psychotic medication. Mr. Loughner's criminal defense attorney's consistently fought the Court orders that he continue his treatment with these drugs since they felt that that the side effects of the psychotropic drugs were interfering with Mr. Loughner's ability to work with them. However, the Court felt that he would be a danger to himself if the treatment did not continue. In addition, the Court felt that the treatment was aimed at improving his mental state so he would be competent to stand trial and it looks as if that time has finally come.

Mr. Loughner had earlier pled not guilty to the charges against him, which include multiple counts of murder and attempted murder and was facing the death penalty if convicted. Admitting his guilt in exchange for and accepting a long term of incarceration, might give the prosecution incentive to offer a plea deal.

The January 8, 2011, attack killed 6 people and wounded 13 others, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. A meet-and-greet event for Rep. Giffords quickly turned to horror as the shooting transpired. Arizona's chief federal judge was among one of the 6 victims that were slain.

Update April - November 2012
In exchange for the government taking the death penalty off the table, Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty to nineteen charges and also waived his right to pursue a defense of insanity.

Based on the deal Loughner is accepting the rest of his life in federal prison with no possibility of parole. Earlier in the day the federal judge presiding over the case found Mr. Loughner competent to stand trial citing that he appears able to assist his counsel and that he understands what's happening.
In the courtroom the defendant held up his right hand under oath and stated "My name is Jared Lee Loughner" and calmly stated that he understood the plea deal that was negotiated with the government by saying the four words "Yes that is correct". He also stated that his age was 23 years old and that he attended community college for five years.

Based on the written agreement filed with the court, Loughner was facing more than fifty federal charges before the plea agreement was worked out, dropping over thirty charges in exchange for his guilty pleas as long as he was to be penalized within the terms of the agreement.  

On November 08, 2012 was sentenced in U.S. District Court.

Attorney General Eric Holder commented that "Today's sentence - life in prison without the possibility of release means Jared Loughner will never again be free to hurt or menace the American public".

The actual breakdown of Loughner's sentenced was seven consecutive life sentences, followed by one hundred, forty years for the commission of his crimes.

Click here to continue