A federal grand jury in Tucson today indicted Jared Lee Loughner on three counts related to allegations he attempted to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and two of her aides, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon.
“Today, the Grand Jury returned an initial three-count indictment against Jared Lee Loughner in the Tucson shooting case. We are in the early stages of this ongoing investigation. We have made considerable progress in a short period of time,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke.
“This case also involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process. Today’s charges are just the beginning of our legal action. We are working diligently to ensure that our investigation is thorough and that justice is done for the victims and their families,” said Burke.
The indictment alleges that Loughner, 22, of Tucson, attempted to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords, and attempted to murder two federal employees, Barber and Simon. A conviction for the attempted assassination of a Member of Congress carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A conviction for attempted murder of a federal employee carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Loughner has been held in federal custody since Jan. 8.