Loughner Murder Charges Dropped

By: John Lester - Staff Writer
Feb 13, 2021

Loughner Murder Charges Dropped

Loughner Murder Charges Dropped - Both counts. Jared Lee Loughner was facing 2 murder charges but they were dropped by prosecutors. Authorities intend to refile them in a superseding indictment.

Jared Lee Loughner, 22, is accused of shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head at a “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Tucson, Arizona, grocery store, then shooting 18 other people, six of them fatally. The dead included Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman and U.S. District Judge John Roll. Giffords is currently recovering in a Houston rehabilitation hospital. Loughner was indicted on January 19 on the attempted assassination and murder.

The motion to dismiss the charges was filed Friday. “It was a procedural motion to keep them off the books in order to bring them back under a superseding indictment,” Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix, said in a statement. Federal prosecutors are bringing forward those three counts first because of the investigation required on the murder counts, Sherwood said.

The initial complaint filed against Loughner had five counts — one count of attempting to assassinate Giffords; two counts of attempted murder in the shootings of Giffords staffers Pamela Simon and Ron Barber; and two murder charges in the deaths of Roll and Zimmerman. They intend to present a superseding indictment containing the murder charges on March 9 at the next status hearing in the case, Sherwood said. “We have the option to bring them back up.”

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