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Loughner Pleads Guilty to Ariz. Shooting Rampage

Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:44 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona man accused of shooting then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others last year at a 2011 Tucson political gathering, plead guilty today to the charges, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement spares him the death penalty, according to the AP. It comes shortly after a federal judge found Loughner competent to stand trial. After the shootings, in which six people were killed and 13 others were wounded, experts concluded that Loughner has schizophrenia, the AP reports. He has been medicated with psychotropic drugs since being taken into custody.

Earlier today, the AP reports, Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly issued a statement that they support the plea deal, the Daily Mail reported.

“We don’t speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement. The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable,” he wrote. “Avoiding a trial will allow us—and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community—to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives.”

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