Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by TerryRose on Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:53 pm

CNN was showing the unfolding and setting up of the flag which will wave over the funeral of little Christina Green today. It was the flag which flew over the towers and had been retrieved all torn apart in its destruction. In 2007, Kansas city tornado survivors stitched it all back together and restored it. I am touched by this tribute to our American child martyr. How appropriate to use this tribute to a child who had been born on that tragic day in American history, and who died as an innocent bystander during yet another mass murderer's attack.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:37 pm

TerryRose wrote:CNN was showing the unfolding and setting up of the flag which will wave over the funeral of little Christina Green today. It was the flag which flew over the towers and had been retrieved all torn apart in its destruction. In 2007, Kansas city tornado survivors stitched it all back together and restored it. I am touched by this tribute to our American child martyr. How appropriate to use this tribute to a child who had been born on that tragic day in American history, and who died as an innocent bystander during yet another mass murderer's attack.
Sometimes life just does not seem to treat people fairly. This precious young lady, a girl that had so much potential, gone, killed by another nut looking for their 15 minutes of fame. His mugshot is just to much to look at. He looks like he is having a blast.
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Post by raine1953 on Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:48 pm

Jared Lee Loughner -- 'I'm in a Terrible Place'

A video shot by Jared Lee Loughner last September -- which freaked out his community college so much he got suspended -- shows the Tucson gunman meandering through the campus at night, ragging on his "genocide school" and the "torture of students" adding, "I'm in a terrible place."
The video was posted to YouTube on September 23 last year, but later removed. On that same day, according to the LA Times, Pima Community College campus police were called to Loughner's biology class after he got into an argument with the instructor over his grade.

A week later, the paper says campus cops delivered a notice of suspension to Lougner.
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Post by janie on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:10 pm

I just watched this video and they said Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was taken off the respirator. She still has a tube down her throat but at least this is a good sign!!
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Post by raine1953 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:44 pm

Giffords undergoes successful operation to repair eye socket

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- The congresswoman wounded in the January 8 mass shooting in Arizona underwent a successful procedure Saturday to repair a fracture in the roof of her right eye socket, doctors said Monday.
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords tolerated the two-hour, minor operation well, and is "back at that same baseline where she was before surgery," said Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center.
The operation was necessary, he said, because bone fragments were pushing down on Giffords' eye. When she arrived at the hospital shortly after the shooting, doctors did a quick operation but "did not want to do the full repair" because she was in critical condition.
The operation involved opening a window in Giffords' skull through an incision over her eyebrow, removing the rim of her eye socket, removing the bone fragments and then reconstructing the socket with the help of metal mesh, doctors said. She will need another skull repair surgery, but that will be done later.
Asked when Giffords might be released from the hospital and into a rehabilitation center, Lemole said it could be as soon as "days to weeks."
Doctors also took a breathing tube out of Giffords' nose, but inserted a second one into her neck. That tube does not allow her to get air past her vocal cords, meaning she cannot talk, said trauma surgeon Dr. Randall Friese. It can be switched out later with a tube that will allow her to speak, he said. Giffords could mouth words "when she's ready to do that," he said.
A feeding tube also was inserted, doctors said.
Asked about a report that Giffords gave her husband, Mark Kelly, a neck rub, Lemole said, "there's a lot of inference there" but said "it does imply that she's recognizing him." Doctors do not know whether she can see out of both eyes, he said, as that is pending a detailed examination.
Kelly has told doctors that he has seen her smile, Friese said. "We're all very optimistic, so we could be wrong, but we all want to see the best and sometimes we see what we want to see. But if he says she's smiling, I buy it."
The other two patients still hospitalized from the shooting are in good condition, he said, and are close to being discharged.
Giffords was upgraded from critical to serious condition on Sunday, eight days after being shot in the head at a public event.
A total of 19 people were shot at the "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Tucson supermarket. Authorities believe Giffords was the target of the mass shooting that left six dead and another 13 wounded. A 22-year-old suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody.
On Sunday, the funeral for victim Dorwan Stoddard took place in Tucson. Witnesses said when the gunfire rang out, Stoddard, 76, was trying to protect his wife, Mavy, when he was shot in the head and fell onto her.
During Stoddard's funeral, Pastor Mike Nowak of Mountain View Church of Christ wore a red shirt and cowboy boots in honor of Stoddard, according to CNN affiliate KGUN.
Nowak said Stoddard -- who took care of the church's maintenance -- was so persistent that when he fell through the church's roof while making repairs one day, he wrapped his own arm in paper towels and electrical tape and kept working, KGUN reported.
"He didn't die a hero. He lived a hero," Nowak said, according to KGUN.
Mavy Stoddard was shot three times in her legs but is expected to recover.
"He died for me, and I have to live for him," the widow said, KGUN reported.
A memorial for Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30, also took place Sunday. Zimmerman was director for community outreach on Giffords' staff and was engaged to be married. Cameras were not allowed inside the memorial. Footage from KGUN showed people leaving the event, some of them stopping to embrace one another.
In addition to Stoddard and Zimmerman, those killed included 9-year-old Christina Green; Arizona's chief federal judge, John Roll; Dorothy Morris, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79.
The contentious issue of gun control was put in the spotlight Saturday when one of the 13 wounded in the attack was involuntarily committed to a county mental services unit after he made threats against a Tea Party member at a town hall event in Tucson.
James Eric Fuller, 63, photographed Trent Humphries and said, "You are dead," when Humphries began speaking at the event, according to Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Ogan.
Humphries told CNN that Fuller's comment came when the town hall discussion turned toward the issue of gun control.
"I was asked to give my thoughts on gun control laws and perhaps the passage of new laws," Humphries said of the incident. "I said something to the effect that although gun rights and laws are not necessarily the primary focus of the Tucson Tea Party, our community needs to be given the opportunity to allow some time to pass and people to heal before we start this type of political dialogue."

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Post by laga on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:00 pm

PHOENIX – The man accused of carrying out a mass shooting in Tucson pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he tried to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides.

The plea by Jared Lee Loughner marked his second court appearance since he allegedly shot the congresswoman and 18 others at Giffords' meet-and-greet event on Jan. 8 outside a grocery store in Tucson. Six people died, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9-year-old girl. Thirteen others were wounded.

Loughner, 22, faces federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and attempting to murder two of her aides. He will later face state charges dealing with other victims.

At least eight U.S. Marshals were present at the hearing in the Phoenix courthouse, where Loughner entered Monday afternoon smiling and wearing an orange prison suit and glasses. His hair, shaved in the mug shot that's become an enduring image of the tragedy, has grown out slightly.

Investigators have said Loughner was mentally disturbed and acting increasingly erratic in the weeks leading up to the shooting. If his attorney uses mental competency questions as a defense and is successful, Loughner could be sent to a mental health facility instead of being sentenced to prison or death.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns of San Diego asked Loughner attorney Judy Clarke whether there was any question about her client's ability to understand the case against him.

"We are not raising any issues at this time," Clarke said.

Giffords was shot in the forehead and spent two weeks in a Tucson hospital before she was flown to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center Hospital on Friday. Shortly after her arrival, doctors said she had been given a tube to drain a buildup of brain fluid that has kept the Arizona congresswoman in intensive care.

The Houston hospital treating Giffords gave no update Monday, and spokesman James Campbell said the next update would come when they are ready to move Giffords to the rehab hospital.

A hospital statement said Giffords would continue to receive therapy "until her physicians determine she is ready for transfer" to a nearby center where she would begin a full rehabilitation program.

Prosecutor Wallace Kleindienst estimated that he would know within the next 30 days whether additional federal charges would be filed against Loughner. Kleindienst said prosecutors provided defense lawyers with records taken from Loughner's computer and documents of about 250 interviews made in the case.

The judge did not rule on prosecutors' request to move the federal case back to Tucson so that victims and witnesses do not have to make the four-hour round trip drive to Phoenix to attend court hearings. The case was moved because one of those killed, Roll, was a federal judge.

Clarke said she didn't oppose the request, but questioned where Loughner would be jailed in Tucson if the case were moved.

Clarke has not responded to requests seeking comment. She is one of the top lawyers in the country for defendants facing prominent death penalty cases, having represented clients such "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski and Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph. She has a reputation for working out plea deals that spare defendants the death penalty, as was the case for Rudolph and Kaczynski.

The judge set a March 9 hearing to consider motions in Loughner's case.
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Post by CritterFan1 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:31 pm

update: Giffords doing well at rehab. Eventually will be well enough to become an outpatient.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Fresh from a sunny outing that brought a smile, Gabrielle Giffords is moving to a Houston rehab center where her husband hopes the "fighter" continues on the path to a full recovery.

University Medical Center staffers took the wounded congresswoman to a deck at the hospital Thursday, where she breathed in the fresh air and felt the sun, trauma surgeon Peter Rhee said.

"I saw the biggest smile she could gather," Rhee said. "We are very happy to have her enjoying the sunshine of Arizona."

Giffords has been making progress nearly everyday in her recovery from a bullet wound to the brain.

Doctors ticked off other markers of her continuing improvement: She scrolled through an iPad, picked out different colored objects and moved her lips. They are unsure whether she is mouthing words, nor do they know how much she is able to see.

Her husband, Houston-based astronaut Mark Kelly, believes she has tried to speak and can recognize those around her.

"I can just look in her eyes and tell," Kelly said at a final briefing Thursday at the Tucson hospital. "She is very aware of the situation."

He said he's hoping she'll make a full recovery.

"Congresswoman Giffords is a fighter," her aide C.J. Karamargin said Friday on CBS' "Early Show. "She's as tough as nails. She's communicated with her husband in positive ways," he added, calling it a sign that she'll be "back very soon. There's no question about it."

The doctors who will help her offered a more sober outlook.

"Not everyone always gets 100 percent restoration, but we help them to get to a new normal," said Carl Josehart, chief executive of the rehab hospital that will be the Arizona congresswoman's home for the next month or two.

Giffords is expected to be moved on Friday morning, traveling by ambulance to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base with an escort from a group of motorcycle riders from a Veterans of Foreign Wars post who know her.

Kelly; Rhee; Giffords' mother, Gloria; an intensive care unit nurse and Giffords' chief of staff will be among those on the medical flight to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.

From there, she will be moved by helicopter to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital. U.S. Capitol police arrived Thursday afternoon to set up extra security measures at the 119-bed facility that is part of the massive Texas Medical Center complex.

Dr. Gerard Francisco, the hospital's chief medical officer, will coordinate her care.

"It's going to be a very big team that will address different impairments, but they will have to work together," he said.

First, they'll check her vital signs — make sure her blood pressure and heart rate are good. Then specialists ranging from physical and occupational therapists to speech therapists and psychologists will give a slew of tests to see what she can and cannot do.

The strength of her legs and her ability to stand and walk. The strength of her arms, and whether she can brush her teeth or comb her hair. Whether she can safely swallow on her own. How well she thinks and communicates — not just her ability to speak but also to understand and comprehend, Francisco said.

It's unclear if she is able to speak. And while she is moving both arms and legs, it's uncertain how much strength she has on her right side; the bullet passed through the left side of her brain, which controls the right side of the body.

Giffords will stay at Memorial Hermann until she no longer needs 24-hour medical care — the average is one to two months. Then she can continue getting up to five hours a day of physical and other rehab therapies on an outpatient basis, Josehart said.

"It's hard to speculate on the trajectory or course that any one patient will have," he said.

Despite the steady progress, Giffords has a long road to recovery. Doctors are not sure what, if any, disability she will have.

Sometimes, areas of the brain that seem damaged can recover, said Mark Sherer, a neuropsychologist at the rehab center.

"Some of the tissue is temporarily dysfunctional, so the patient appears very impaired very early on after the injury," but may not be permanently damaged, he said.

A gunman shot Giffords and 18 other people Jan. 8 as she met with constituents outside a grocery store in Tucson. Six people died and the others wounded. All survivors, except Giffords, have been released from hospitals.

The suspect in the attack, Jared Loughner, 22, of Tucson, is being held in federal custody.

"The last 12 days have been extraordinarily difficult for myself, my family, but not only us," Kelly said. "I think it's been very difficult for the city of Tucson, southern Arizona and our country.

Kelly added that Giffords would be proud of the way Tucson has responded. Memorials continued to grow Thursday outside the hospital, in front of her office and at the scene of the shooting.

"I know one of the first things Gabby is going to want to do as soon as she is able is start writing thank you notes," he said.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:58 pm

Update: 2/10/11

Giffords talking more every day, staff says
Just a month after shooting, aide says she's 'improving in all areas'
By STEWART POWELL and TODD ACKERMAN
HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Feb. 10, 2011, 4:25A

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., continuing her rapid recovery from a gunshot wound to the forehead, is speaking "more and more every day" in response to rigorous speech therapy conducted during rehabilitation at Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann, according to her staff.

Press secretary C.J. Karamargin, speaking by phone from Tucson, Ariz., told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday that his boss had begun speaking "recently," often using more than one word. She ordered toast for breakfast one recent morning, he said.

"(She's talking) more and more every day," Karamargin said. "She is improving in all areas."

Karamargin declined to give any examples of words or phrases spoken by the congresswoman besides toast.

Giffords' apparent recovery of the ability to speak is the latest milestone in a recovery TIRR doctors have said is occurring at "lightning speed." The spoken words came about a month after she was shot during a gunman's rampage in Tucson. Six people, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge, were killed outside a grocery where Giffords was meeting with constituents on Jan. 8. Giffords was one of 13 injured.

The congresswoman on Jan. 26 was transferred to The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation, the Memorial Hermann Hospital System's elite rehab center, following two weeks in the intensive care unit of University Medical Center in Tucson and five days in Memorial Hermann's Texas Medical Center hospital ICU.

Memorial Hermann on Wednesday declined to make any TIRR doctors available to comment on Giffords' apparent speaking breakthrough.
Hard work paying off

Karamargin attributed Giffords' newly regained speaking ability to her work with hospital staff on "all sorts of language and speech exercises" as part of the rehabilitation process.

"It's a combination effort — her team pushing her and the congresswoman pushing herself. They're both working hard, and it's paying off," Karamargin said.
'Encouraging sign'

Dr. Stephanie Sneed, a brain injury specialist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, said assessing Giffords' progress based only on reports she's begun speaking a word or more is difficult because "there's no typical timeline and breakthroughs occur at various times in rehab."

"But anything new a patient starts doing is an encouraging sign," Sneed said. "They allow doctors to capitalize on the new skill and challenge the patient more."

Sneed said the frustrating part of rehab is when the patient goes sustained periods without breaking through and accomplishing tasks.

Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, Wednesday evening told The CBS Evening News that the congresswoman asked her for toast a few days ago during her breakfast of oatmeal and yogurt. She said it wasn't the first time Giffords had spoken.

Husband Mark Kelly, a League City astronaut, posted Tuesday on Facebook that Giffords had her appetite back and was eating three times a day, "even though it's hospital food."

"It is hard to believe that only one month has passed since Gabrielle was shot," he wrote. "The doctors say she is recovering at lightning speed considering her injury, but they aren't kidding when they say this is a marathon process."

Carusone also said Giffords is supportive of Kelly's decision, announced last week, to command space shuttle Endeavour's flight in April. She said that "he's kept her up to date throughout this whole process and his thinking, (and) she certainly understands it."
Talking 'not a surprise'

Kelly said last week he expects the congresswoman to be well enough by April to be at the mission. Dr. Gerard Francisco, who is leading Giffords' care at TIRR, said Tuesday that's a good goal but that it's too early to say if she can make enough progress by then.

Karamargin said that Giffords talking "is not a surprise" to people who know her.

"We know her as a woman of grit and determination, and we're seeing that now," Karamargin said. "We are all very excited and elated with this latest news. We've known for a few days. It's hard to keep good news contained."

In related news, the Associated Press reported Wednesday that the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff's Office have finished their investigations into the shooting. An FBI spokesman said all materials have been turned over to the U.S. Attorney's Office for prosecution, including a computer and handwritten notes found in a safe in suspect Jared Loughner's home that read "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and "Giffords." One note said "Die, bitch," which authorities believe was a reference to Giffords.

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Giffords speaks as she improves 'in all areas', staff says
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., continuing her rapid recovery from a gunshot wound to the forehead, is speaking "more and more every day" in response to rigorous speech therapy conducted during rehabilitation at Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann, according to her staff.

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Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:07 pm


NPR
by Mark Memmott

Two quick updates on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who continues to recover.

— She is "able to laugh at jokes, recognize visitors and even offer a poignant response when asked recently by her husband how she was doing. 'Better,' Giffords said, in one of the first words she uttered since being shot in the head Jan. 8. Family friend Tilman Fertitta described the encounters to The Associated Press."

— "After three weeks of therapy, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is sleeping through the night, eating sushi, participating in simple conversations and making steady progress in her recovery, her doctors and those close to her say. ... [And] Giffords knows that she was shot and that there was 'a traumatic event,' said Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff. However, she does not yet know about the deaths and injuries to others, nor has she indicated that she wants to know. (The Arizona Republic)

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Post by TerryRose on Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:38 pm

The progress is hopeful, but it does not seem too promising to me. Participating in simple conversations is often what an elderly stroke or Alzheimers patient can do very well. I am saddened by this----happy that she is alive and doing well and has no obvious physical limitations, but the thinking processes seem from all reports to have a long way to go. So sad for this innocent good public servant. JMO.
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Post by raine1953 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:00 am

Alleged shooter's reclusive father retreats more


Randy Loughner was always reclusive. But since his son's alleged shooting rampage last month, the father has shut himself behind what one neighbor calls "an elaborate cage."

In recent weeks, Loughner has built a substantial wooden enclosure, more than 6 feet high, obscuring his front door and windows. The four horizontal windows on the garage door have been papered over, the diamond-shaped openings atop the block wall to his back yard closed off with little plywood plugs.

Even the white mailbox out front has been replaced by a heavy black steel one with a locked drawer.

"He was already secluded, so he was already set up for it, and used to it," says Stephen Woods, who lives in the house to the left of Amy and Randy Loughners'. "So I imagine it's not bothering him much. I don't think his life has changed that much."

But life has undoubtedly changed.

Until Jan. 8, the couple's 22-year-old son, Jared, shared the modest beige block and brick home where the couple have lived for nearly three decades. Now, he sits in a cell, facing federal charges of attempting to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides. Six people, including a federal judge, were killed and 13 injured in the shooting during a Giffords meet-and-greet outside a Tucson grocery store, and more charges are expected.

Except for a brief written statement, the Loughners have kept their silence. They have not returned messages left by The Associated Press, and relatives have also refused to talk.

Some thought the couple had moved away from the 1,400-square-foot home where they raised their only child. But then neighbors began hearing the hammers and saws.

Ron Johnson has seen the husband coming and going in his El Camino, one of several vintage cars he owns.

"He comes out after dark," says Johnson, who lives in the house directly across from the Loughners but who hasn't even tried to speak with them in ages. "He comes out of that garage, closes it and scoots down that highway."

Johnson says he tried to be friendly with the family. He would see Randy Loughner — who was once in construction but now appears not to work — watering his plants or sweeping the driveway and would try to strike up a conversation.

Loughner wouldn't even look him in the eye.

"On the other hand, he's probably the best neighbor I ever had," he says with a chuckle. "He doesn't talk to you and doesn't borrow" stuff.

George Gayan, 82, has lived on the Loughners' right for nearly 30 years. When Jared was 3 or 4, he would come over to play with Gayan's great-grandson. Amy Loughner, who works for the county parks department, would sometimes accompany him.

But Gayan has never been in the Loughner home. And Randy Loughner has never been in his.

"He wants his privacy," says Gayan, a widower. "I honor his request. I have no problem with that. People move out into the middle of the desert because they want their privacy."

But Woods says Loughner has taken it to an extreme.

Woods says the family's back yard is encircled with what appear to be trellises. Greenery extends several feet from the block walls.

"I mean, you can stand on a 6-foot ladder at my fence and not look into his back yard," says Woods, an aircraft mechanic who has lived there about seven years. "You can't see inside there."

If Loughner's privacy concerns seemed exaggerated before, they are now very real.

Two days after the shootings, Loughner called the sheriff's office to complain that people were hanging over his back wall trying to take photographs. He told deputies he had caught a reporter in his back yard with a camera, and had chased her away.

No one has been charged.

These days, Woods doesn't even see Loughner out watering his plants or walking the family's little black and white dog. And that's just fine with him.

Woods says his relationship with Loughner was bad from the beginning. He had only been in the house a couple of days, he says, when Loughner began shouting obscenities at him over some garbage that had been left behind by the previous residents.

He says Loughner would glare at him and his family as he drove by in his orange Camaro. When Loughner glowered at him one morning, Woods decided to stare back.

"It must have gone on for two or three minutes," he says, puffing on a cigarette. "He's just sitting there, just glaring at me. And finally he just walked away. And that was it. He never said anything."

Woods' daughter, Stephanie, is the same age as Jared and was in some of his classes at high school. Woods always thought it strange that the neighbor boy who rode his bike past their house would have nothing to do with her.

"There's something off about the kid. And when you think about the kid, Jared, you think about the parents. And you look at the parents and say, 'Yeah, well the dad's really angry," says Woods.

"He has some issues, the father. I think it's trickled down on the son. And it's too bad."

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Post by CritterFan1 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:03 pm

Raine, not at all surprised by the above article. Look how people acted at the Ants house. People get riled up by something like this and and tend to take out their frustrations on the perp's family, like the family had something to do with the shooting of Gifford. Amazes me how people can act.
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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by raine1953 on Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:19 pm

I agree too. I always feel for the parents/family in anything like this. It is sad.
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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by raine1953 on Wed May 25, 2011 3:32 pm

Judge rules Loughner is not competent to stand trial

ucson, Arizona (CNN) -- Jared Lee Loughner, accused of a mass shooting in which he allegedly tried to assassinate Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, isn't competent to stand trial, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The judge said he based his decision on two recent court-ordered mental evaluations of Loughner at a federal hospital in Springfield, Missouri.
"The defendant was not able to comprehend the charges," U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled.
A 52-page evaluation by psychologist Christina Pietz and a 43-page evaluation by psychiatrist
Matthew Carroll both concluded that Loughner isn't competent to stand trial because he cannot assist in his defense due to mental illness.
Burns said he agreed with Carroll's evaluation that said Loughner is "clearly illogical and confused." The judge said Loughner wasn't masquerading a mental illness and noted that Loughner had been acting bizarre for the past two years.
The judge also said that Loughner doesn't like being labeled mentally ill. "He scoffs at the idea," Burns said.
Loughner, 22, of Tucson, Arizona, has no rational understanding, an "irrational distrust of his lawyers" and "has delusions that prohibit him from considering legal defenses," the judge said.
The U.S. attorney general will take custody of Loughner for a period not to exceed four months, and Loughner will be taken to a hospital for further evaluation to determine if he will become competent to stand trial.
The next court date for Loughner is scheduled for September 21.
During his hearing, Loughner was forcibly removed by two marshals from the courtroom after an outburst, in which one reporter heard him say, "Thank you for the freak show. She died right in front of me," and "You're changing. ..."
Loughner's parents, seated in the courtroom, were visibly upset.
After the recess, Burns asked Loughner if he wanted to watch the remainder of the proceedings on a television monitor. Loughner said yes, and he was removed from the courtroom.
The one-hour hearing was held to decide whether Loughner is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of trying to assassinate a congresswoman.
Loughner faces multiple charges -- including murder and attempted murder -- related to the January 8 mass shooting in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson.
He entered the courtroom Wednesday no longer bald and clean-shaven, as he was depicted in his mug shot shortly after the shootings. Loughner now has a full head of hair, along with facial hair.
Loughner is charged with killing six people and wounding 13 more, including Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, who was holding a meet-and-greet with constituents at the time. Authorities say Giffords was the target of the attack.
Loughner was indicted in March on 49 counts, including murder and attempted murder. He has been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation to help a judge determine if he is competent to stand trial in the case.
Loughner is accused of killing John M. Roll, a federal district judge; Gabriel M. Zimmerman, a staff member for Giffords; Dorothy J. Morris; Phyllis C. Schneck; Dorwan C. Stoddard; and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Shot through the head and brain, Giffords is recovering from surgery that implanted a synthetic bone and a shunt in her skull, her doctors said last week.
She was in attendance last week when the space shuttle Endeavour took off with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, in command.
Among those attending Wednesday's hearing was Susan Hileman, 58, who was wounded in the shooting, and her husband, Bill. Susan Hileman was the neighbor who brought Christina to the supermarket meet-and-greet with Giffords.
Christina has often been remembered as the child victim who was born on September 11, 2001.
Also attending were friends and co-workers of Judge Roll, whose courtroom was in the same courthouse as Wednesday's hearing.
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Normal Jared Lee Loughner's defense team is delving into his family's medical history, possibly looking for evidence of mental illness.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:36 pm


Jared Loughner's Defense Team May Be Looking for Mental Illness in His Relatives

Tucson, Ariz. Shooting Suspect's Outburst in Court

By KATIE MOISSE
Aug. 19, 2011

Loughner, who faces 49 charges stemming from the Tucson, Ariz., shooting spree that killed six people and injured 13 others, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia -- a brain disorder with strong genetic roots. And in a move that could bolster his defense, Loughner's lawyers have subpoenaed public health records from 22 of his maternal relatives dating back to 1893, the New York Times reported.

"If there are a lot of people who have a schizophrenia diagnosis in his family, that does sort of add weight to the issue that this kid was at a huge genetic risk," said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "It could have emotional effect on a jury. it could heighten the sense that this was not his fault."

Loughner's mental health has been the subject of much attention since his arrest in the Jan. 8 shootout at a constituent meet-and-greet with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who sustained a gunshot wound to the head. A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation concluded that 22-year-old Loughner has delusions and hallucinations -- psychotic symptoms that can distort a person's perception of reality.

"We know that psychotic illnesses run in families," said Raison, adding that the genetic contribution to mental illness can be as high as 70 percent, depending on the diagnosis. "People with schizophrenia are often related to other people with schizophrenia and to people who are odd or isolative. ... It's not a specific disease state that's inherited; it's this vulnerability to have this sort of odd behavior or odd way of thinking."

In May, a federal judge deemed Loughner mentally unfit to stand trial. But it's his mental state at the time of the attack that will determine his sentence.

"The only way to really assess what role psychosis played in his actions is for him to be able to explain what he thought he was doing," said Raison, adding that psychotic people tend to have a logical rationale for their delusional thought process. "No matter how bizarre the reasoning is, it makes sense. We don't believe it, but it makes sense."

Loughner has been forced to take antipsychotic drugs during his stay at a federal psychiatric facility in Springfield, Mo., and a hearing scheduled for Sept. 21 will determine whether his mental state has improved enough for him to participate in his defense.

A family history of mental illness will not shed light on Loughner's mental state during the attack, but it could help validate his diagnosis.

"When you go digging into anyone's family history, sooner or later you're going run into someone with mental illness," said Dr. Steven Lamberti, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Severe Mental Disorders Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y. Psychiatric evaluations, medical records, school reports and testimonies from people who saw Loughner before or during the attack, Lamberti said, are more important to his defense than family history.

"We can often get enough of an idea of when illness began by looking for a change in their social functioning," Lamberti said. "If we know someone has a diagnosis and had onset before a particular event, that certainly raises the possibility that they were psychotic at the time of the event. But that's when it becomes important to do psychiatric evaluation as close to the event as possible and gather eyewitness accounts."

While mental illness is known to run in families, Lamberti stressed that people without affected relatives are not immune. The schizophrenia risk for someone with no affected relatives is still 1 percent, jumping to 10 percent for someone with an affected parent or sibling.

But if a family member starts to show symptoms of psychosis, Raison said it should be considered an emergency on par with a heart attack or stroke.

"The sooner you treat people with medication, the better chance you have of sort of slowing this nasty condition," he said. He believes Loughner could recover with the proper treatment. "Sometimes people regain clarity and are able to tell you in very disturbing detail what they've done, and that can be horrifying. People like that are at risk for suicide."

Loughner is said to be on suicide watch.

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Normal Jared Lee Loughner To Be Sentenced In Arizona Shooting That Wounded Gabrielle Giffords

Post by raine1953 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:16 am

TUCSON, Ariz. — The man who killed six people and wounded 13 others in an Arizona shooting rampage will be sentenced Thursday during a hearing that some victims of the attack, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, are expected to attend.

Jared Lee Loughner already has pleaded guilty to federal charges in the January 2011 attack at a Giffords political event outside a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store.

According to prosecutors, some victims will comment before U.S. District Judge Larry Burns sentences Loughner. A source close to the family who was not authorized to release the information confirmed to The Associated Press that Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, would be in court, and that Kelly would make a statement.

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty three months ago to 19 federal charges under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. The deal calls for the dismissal of 30 other charges and a sentence of seven consecutive life terms, followed by 140 years in prison.

Both sides reached the deal after a judge declared that Loughner was able to understand the charges against him. After the shooting, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and underwent forcible psychotropic drug treatments.

Some victims, including Giffords, welcomed the deal as a way to move on. It spared victims and their families from having to go through a potentially lengthy and traumatic trial and locks up the defendant for life.


Ron Barber, a former Giffords staffer who was shot in the cheek and thigh during the attack and later won election to her seat when Giffords stepped down, plans to make a statement, said his spokesman, Mark Kimble.

Suzi Hileman, who was shot three times while trying to save her 9-year-old neighbor, and Mavy Stoddard, whose husband died shielding her from bullets, plan to address the court.

"He has to pay the consequences for what he did, and justice will be served," Hileman said.

Judy Clarke, Loughner's lead attorney, didn't return messages seeking comment.

Christina Pietz, the court-appointed psychologist who treated Loughner, had warned that although Loughner was competent to plead guilty, he remained severely mentally ill and his condition could deteriorate under the stress of a trial.

When Loughner first arrived at a Missouri prison facility for treatment, he was convinced Giffords was dead, even though he was shown a video of the shooting. He eventually realized she was alive after he was forcibly medicated.

It's unknown whether Pima County prosecutors, who have discretion on whether to seek the death penalty against Loughner, will file state charges against him. Stephanie Coronado, a spokeswoman for Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, said Wednesday that no decision had been made.

It's unclear where Loughner will be sent to serve his federal sentence. He could return to a prison medical facility like the one in Springfield, Mo., where he's been treated for more than a year. Or he could end up in a prison such as the federal lockup in Florence, Colo., that houses some of the country's most notorious criminals, including Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.
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Normal 'Stronger, better, tougher': Giffords improves, but she'll never be the same

Post by raine1953 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:13 pm

This week, CNN TV and CNN.com will take an in-depth look at "Guns Under Fire: A CNN Special Report On Background Checks." Tonight at 8 p.m., AC360 will debut Part 1 of Dana Bash's exclusive interview with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago in Arizona. On Wednesday, CNN will look at gun control and background checks as Congress is expected to tackle the issue head-on in the coming days. Watch CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- What is most shocking about Gabby Giffords now is how much she looks like her old self. Her golden locks are back, so is the sparkle in her eyes and her broad smile. Gone is the short hair and thin frame we saw at the beginning of her recovery.
Yet she knows she will never be the same.
"Stronger. Stronger, better, tougher. Stronger, better, tougher." That's how Giffords describes herself.
The former Arizona congresswoman makes that declaration with determination and gusto. But it still takes a considerable amount of energy and concentration to articulate that, or anything else.
Being with Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago during an appearance in front of an Arizona supermarket, it is obvious that she understands and absorbs everything around her. She follows conversation, reacts, engages and offers unsolicited ideas -- usually in the form of a single word or gesture that makes clear what she means.

But at times, even simple words are a struggle, like when she tries to explain how she spends her days.
"Occupational therapy, yogurt," said Giffords.
Her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, patiently and quietly corrects her, saying "yoga."
"Yoga, yoga," Giffords repeats, offering a playful smile to signal she gets how funny it was that she said "yogurt" instead of "yoga."

She has go-to phrases that indicate how she feels, often saying "good stuff" to express encouragement and "whoa" to show something excites her or makes her happy.
The right-handed Giffords still has no use of that hand and that arm is paralyzed. She generally wears a sling to keep it from flopping around.
Her right leg is also paralyzed. She wears a large brace and literally drags her right leg with her good, left leg to walk. Still, she walks remarkably well.
Giffords has a service dog -- Nelson, a golden lab -- with her at all times.
She is also still aided by nurses, who come to her home, and by speech therapists, who constantly work with her to help improve her ability to communicate.
She also doesn't see very well.
"Not great at all," is how she described her vision.
Giffords has limited sight in both eyes - no peripheral vision to the right.
Kelly jokes that when he wants to sneak up on her he will come around the right so she can't see him coming.
That makes Giffords giggle.
It is clear watching the couple interact that humor helps keeps her spirits up, and eases the pressure of their intense daily struggle.
For Kelly and Giffords, this is the new normal -- a life together that neither could have ever imagined when they first got together. She was a bright young political rising star and he was an astronaut.
Kelly said it is "different in a lot of good ways."
The biggest difference? For the first time, they actually live in the same house, in the same city, in the same state.
Before Giffords was shot, she jetted between her home in Tucson and work in Washington, while Kelly lived and worked in Texas -- home of Johnson Space Center.
They had a commuter marriage, which didn't allow them much time together. Now, they are together all the time, living in a ranch style home they bought last summer.
And since January, the two work together as well. They started Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization and super PAC dedicated to pushing Giffords' former colleagues in Congress to support new restrictions to help curb gun violence.
Giffords work and her recovery are not unrelated. Those around her said she has noticeably made more progress with her speech and physical challenges over the past few months since she reengaged in the world of politics and public policy.
Kelly said Giffords does have moments of frustration, but both insist she is mostly optimistic and not resentful.
"No. Move ahead," said Giffords. "Move ahead."
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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by raine1953 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:15 pm

I am in awe of this woman, so strong and such perseverance. I feel horrible that she'll never be the same all because of some idiot with a gun. If I were her I'm sure I'd be crying my eyes out saying 'why me'! What a strong woman and what an awesome strong husband she has.
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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:26 pm

Thanks for the above 2 posts. Could NOT agree more. Am going to DVR it. :heart:

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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

Post by TerryRose on Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:11 pm

I admire this woman also and I admire the husband always at her side. I also support her cause (which is basically a cause for the safety and welfare of all of us too) 100%. In addition to Americans for Responsible Solutions, there is a mothers' group that formed since Sandyhook, and also other groups I am sure. I pray they will succeed in their battle against big money interests to protect our innocent children and people from this senseless gun violence which is a deadly menace in this country like never before seen.
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Normal Re: Az congresswoman, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords shot in head/had surgery-now in rehab/ 6 dead, 12 wounded, 22 yr old Jared Loughner in custody./plead Not Guilty on 01/24/11./Loughner pleas guilty in exchange for life w/ no parole, to be sentenced 11.8.12

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