Jared Loughner Hearings to be Held in Tucson, Judge Decides

When Tucson shooting suspect Jared Loughner appears before a judge on March 9, he will do so in a federal courtroom in Tucson, the judge handling Loughner's case ruled this morning.

Loughner appeared in a Phoenix federal court last week where a plea of not-guilty was entered on his behalf for the attempted murders of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides outside of a Safeway grocery store in Tucson on January 8.

Prosecutors filed a motion asking to have the trial venue moved to Tucson so victims of the rampage shooting wouldn't be forced to drive two hours to attend court proceedings.

Loughner's attorney, Judy Clark, reportedly told the court that she didn't object to having the trial moved.

Federal Judge Larry Burns issued a subsequent order following last week's hearing indicating that Loughner's next court appearance would be in Phoenix. However, the motion to have the proceedings moved to Tucson, Burns said, remained under advisement. This morning, Burns ordered that the proceedings be moved to Tucson.

Clark is likely to ask for a change in venue for Loughner's trial because of the intense media coverage of the shooting and the impact it's had on the Tucson community. Burns said in this morning's order that the "order does not affect the defendant's right to move for a change of venue in the future."

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