Report: Jared Loughner to Be Declared Too Mentally Incompetent to Stand Trial [Update]

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Photo: Bill Robles/AFP/Getty Images

At a hearing later today, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner "will almost certainly be declared mentally unfit for trial," according to CBS News. If that happens, "he will be sent to a federal facility for a maximum of four months to see if he can be restored to competency," whatever that entails. At stake is not whether Loughner was mentally unstable at the time of the shooting, but "whether he understands the charges against him and if he can help his attorneys in his defense." Two court-appointed experts have authored a still-secret report on Loughner's mental health after spending five weeks with him, but the decision is up to U.S. District Judge Larry Burns.

Sources: Loughner to be found mentally incompetent [CBS News]

Update: This happened during the hearing today:


U.S. District Judge Larry Burns had Jared Lee Loughner escorted from the courtroom after Loughner lowered his head and said what sounded like: “Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me.” His head was inches from the table in front of him.

Loughner was asked whether he wanted to stay or watch the proceedings on TV in another room, and he answered, “I want to watch the TV screen.”

Update II: As expected, the judge ruled Loughner mentally incompetent to stand trial.