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Tucson shooting suspect to be arraigned

By Jacques Billeaud

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 5:26 a.m. HST, Mar 9, 2011

PHOENIX » The suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on dozens of new federal charges after he was formally accused of killing six people and wounding 13 others.

A federal judge also will consider whether to grant a prosecution request to order Jared Lee Loughner to provide handwriting samples to compare with documents seized from his home, including one that read, "Die, bitch."

Other issues that will be considered by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns include requests to unseal records of a search of Loughner's house, to commit him to a facility for a psychological evaluation and to prohibit prison officials from releasing confidential medical or psychological records about Loughner to prosecutors.

Thirteen people were wounded and another six people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed Jan. 8 at a meet-and-greet event held by Giffords outside a Tucson grocery store.

Loughner, who is being held at the maximum-security U.S. Penitentiary at the Federal Correctional Complex in Tucson, will be arraigned on new federal charges that include the murders of U.S. District Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman.

He also is charged with causing the deaths of four others who weren't federal employees, causing injury and death to participants at a federally provided activity and using a gun in a crime of violence.

He has pleaded not guilty to earlier federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides. Loughner also will likely face state charges.

Prosecutors have said they plan to introduce the documents seized from Loughner's home at trial. Investigators who searched the home after the shooting found handwritten notes in a safe that read "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and "Giffords."

One note said "Die, bitch," which authorities believe was a reference to Giffords. Other notebooks containing handwriting were found at the house, but no details were provided on those documents.

Loughner's attorneys oppose the request on the grounds that compelling him to provide a sample violates his right to remain silent.

They said prosecutors initially asked for voluntary samples and eventually rejected Loughner's counteroffer to review the documents in question and perhaps agree that he wrote them.


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