Loughner Ruled Unfit to Stand Trial, Sent to Hospital

The Giffords shooting suspect: "Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me"

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Jared Lee Loughner won't go to trial for some time to come, after a federal judge today found him mentally incompetent, and incapable of understanding the trial proceedings. The 22-year-old was removed from an Arizona courtroom after an outburst during a hearing to determine whether he was mentally fit to stand trial for killing six people and injuring 14, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in a Jan. 8 shooting rampage.

Loughner will now be remanded to the Bureau of Prisons' Medical Center for federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo. for up to four months while doctors try to restore him to competency. He will probably be forced to take anti-psychotic medication, and be subject to regular mental health evaluations, according to The Atlantic's Andrew Cohen. A U.S. Attorney's office spokesman, Robbie Sherwood, told USA Today, ""We believe he can be restored to competency with proper medication."

The Arizona Daily Star reported that his doctors have said he was a schizophrenic.

U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns said doctors report Loughner is unable to help with his defense because of his irrational distrust of lawyers.

He doesn't understand the system and the role played by everyone, doctors said in their reports.

Loughner doesn't think he can get a fair trial because of conspiracy, the judge was told by doctors.

The Daily Star filed an early report on Loughner's outburst before the judge declared him incompetent:

"Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me," he said to the judge. It was unclear who he was referring to.

The judge said Loughner could return if he were able to compose himself. If not, he can watch the hearing on a TV monitor.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.