New mental exam ordered for Loughner

PHOENIX, April 17 (UPI) -- A judge has ordered an independent psychiatric exam of Tucson gunman Jared Loughner at his defense attorney's request.

Loughner, 22, who is charged with 49 federal counts for the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six people and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was sent in March to a prison hospital in Missouri for evaluation.


Defense attorney Judy Clarke sought to have him returned to Tucson and objected to U.S. District Judge Larry Burns' order to have the evaluations videotaped and made available to both sides, The Arizona Republic reported.

On Friday, Burns agreed to have a court-appointed psychiatrist travel from San Diego to Missouri to do second evaluation since the defense questioned "the impartiality of Bureau of Prisons staff." The videotapes will be turned over to the court.

Burns also let Loughner's defense arrange its own competency evaluation so long as it takes place before his competency hearing set for May 25 in Tucson.

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