America

Update: Rep. Giffords' Alleged Attacker Ruled Mentally Incompetent

Breaking news from The Associated Press:

"A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that wounded U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is mentally incompetent to stand trial, putting the criminal case against him on hold indefinitely." (Added at 3:39 p.m. ET)

Update at 3:45 p.m. ET. NPR's Ted Robbins, who was in the courtroom, says that before he was removed from the room Loughner screamed at the judge: "Thank you for the freak show. ... she died in front of me."

Our original post:

The young man accused of killing six people and wounding another 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), during a Jan. 8 shooting rampage was removed from a Phoenix courtroom this afternoon during a hearing on whether he's mentally competent enough to stand trial.

According to The Associated Press, Jared Loughner "mumbled something loudly, his head inches from the table in front of him. Loughner's words were inaudible to many in the courtroom."

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns had Loughner removed. Later, the suspect was brought back and asked if he wanted to watch the proceedings from another room. "I want to watch the TV screen," Loughner replied, and he was again taken from the room.

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