Jared Loughner may plead guilty for life in prison


A court-appointed psychiatrist will testify that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the shooting that killed six people and injured 13, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a source familiar with the case and speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The plan is for Loughner to enter a guilty plea in the murders and attempted murders. The plan is contingent on the judge in the case allowing Loughner to enter the plea.

Loughner had pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting outside a supermarket where Giffords was holding a meet-and-greet with constituents. Authorities said Loughner shot Giffords in the head, then turned his gun at the crowd before being subdued by bystanders. Giffords subsequently left Congress to devote her time to rehabilitation.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled previously that Loughner wasn't psychologically fit to stand trial, but that he could eventually be made ready for trial after treatment.

Experts concluded that Loughner is schizophrenic. Prison officials in Missouri, where Loughner has been held, have forcibly medicated him with psychotropic drugs. His psychologist has said that his condition has improved since being medicated by force.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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