Testimony: Loughner's competency can be restored

A psychologist says the man accused of wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a deadly shooting rampage is still delusional, but she believes he can be restored to competency after another eight months of treatment.

FILE - This Jan. 8, 2011 file photo provided by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows Jared Loughner. A federal judge, on Wednesday, June 30, 2011, rejected a plea by attorneys for the Tucson shooting rampage suspect and ruled that Jared Lee Loughner can be forced to continue taking anti-psychotic drugs. (AP Photo/Pima County Sheriff's Department via The Arizona Republic, File)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A psychologist says the man accused of wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a deadly shooting rampage is still delusional, but she believes he can be restored to competency after another eight months of treatment.

Dr. Christina Pietz testified Wednesday at a hearing on the mental status of 23-year-old Jared Lee Loughner. She has been treating Loughner at a Missouri prison facility.

Pietz says Loughner, who is being forcibly medicated, remains on suicide watch but is no longer having auditory hallucinations. She says she has no reason to think he won't keep getting better.

Pietz added Loughner "understands that he has murdered people" and "talks about how remorseful he is."

Loughner sat expressionless as he listened quietly to Pietz's testimony. He looked thin and pale and was wearing a white T-shirt and khakis. He was sporting a short haircut and sideburns.

Two federal marshals stood behind him.
Associated Press
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
News Topics: Shootings, Crime, Violent crime, General news

People, Places and Companies: Gabrielle Giffords, Jared Loughner, Jared Lee, Tucson, United States


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