Jared Lee Loughner won't go to trial for some time to come, after a federal judge today found him incompetent to stand trial. The 22-year-old was removed from an Arizona courtroom after an outburst during a hearing to determine whether he was mentally fit to stand trial for killing six people and injuring 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in a January 8 shooting rampage. The Arizona Daily Star reported that his doctors said he was a schizophrenic.
U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns said doctors report Loughner is unable to help with his defense because of his irrational distrust of lawyers.
He doesn't understand the system and the role played by everyone, doctors said in their reports.
Loughner doesn't think he can get a fair trial because of conspiracy, the judge was told by doctors.
The Daily Star filed an early report on Loughner's outburst before the judge declared him incompetent:
"Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me," he said to the judge. It was unclear who he was referring to.
The judge said Loughner could return if he were able to compose himself. If not, he can watch the hearing on a TV monitor.
The hearing today will determine whether Loughner's criminal trial can proceed. If the judge determines that he doesn't understand the charges against him, he'll be remanded to federal custody for further treatment to see if he can be restored to competency.
- Loughner removed from hearing after outburst , Tim Steller and Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star