Gabrielle Giffords "Satisfied" With Jared Loughner Plea Deal, Husband Mark Kelly Says
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is "satisfied" with Jared Loughner's expected guilty plea, according to her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.
Loughner -- the lone suspect in last year's Tucson shooting that killed six people and injured 13, including Giffords -- is scheduled to change his plea in federal court today, pending a competency hearing.
"We don't speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement," Kelly says in a statement. "The pain and loss caused by the events of January 8, 2011 are incalculable. Avoiding a trial will allow us -- and we hope the whole Southern Arizona community -- to continue with our recovery and move forward with our lives."
That hearing is taking place at 11 a.m. today in Tucson.
Loughner faces 49 federal charges related to the January 8, 2011, shooting, and was previously found incompetent to stand trial.
However, Loughner was ordered to be treated at a psychiatric facility and be forcibly treated with medication in an effort to "restore his competency" to stand trial.
If he's found competent today -- as the judge will have to be convinced Loughner understands the charges -- then he'll be able to change his plea.
Instead of the sentencing extremes that could have resulted from a trial -- a jury buying Loughner's insanity, or the prosecution's likely intention of a death sentence -- the going thought is that Loughner's plea will land him in prison for the rest of his life.
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