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Lawyers: Keep Loughner in Mo. facility

May 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM   |   Comments

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PHOENIX, May 23 (UPI) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys asked that the defendant in last year's mass shooting in Tucson remain in a Missouri prison hospital.

A report on Jared Loughner's progress toward being rehabilitated to be competent enough to stand trial is due Thursday, but a joint motion by lawyers filed Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Larry Burns for an order to keep Loughner in the Missouri facility for his "best medical interests," The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, reported.

Loughner, 23, is charged in the January 2011 shooting outside a Tucson supermarket that killed six people and wounded then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and a dozen others. He is in a federal prison hospital in Missouri undergoing mental health treatment and evaluation.

The attorneys also asked for a status hearing to discuss Loughner's competency be scheduled for June 27, almost three weeks after his current restoration stint is to end.

Under federal law, a defendant can be kept in restoration for a "reasonable" time, the Republic said. If Loughner can't be restored to mental competency, he could be sent to a mental institution.

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