A federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday against Jared Lee Loughner for the attempted murders of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aids,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," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke says in a statement.
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If convicted of the attempted murder charges, Loughner could face a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
It's also expected that Loughner will be indicted for the murders of federal Judge John Roll, and Giffords' aide Gabe Zimmerman. If convicted of those murders, Loughner could potentially face the death penalty.
"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."
The murder indictments are expected to be handed down within 60 days.