Loughner indicted on initial three-counts in Tucson shootings


by Natalie Rivers


Posted on January 19, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 20 at 8:34 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. - A federal grand jury in Tucson indicted Jared Loughner in an initial three-count indictment in the Tucson shootings that killed six people and wounded 13 others on Jan. 8.

The indictment charges Loughner for attempting to kill Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her two aides, Ron Barber and Pamela Simon.

More charges are likely in this ongoing investigation.

"We are in the early stages of this ongoing investigation," said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. "We have made considerable progress in a short period of time.

“This case also involves potential death-penalty charges, and Department rules require us to pursue a deliberate and thorough process," Burke continued. "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 indictment alleges that Loughner, 22, attempted to assassinate Giffords and attempted to murder two federal employees, Barber and Simon.

If convicted for the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, he could get the maximum penalty of life in prison. A conviction for attempted murder of a federal employee carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

As Burke stated, the additional charges that could be filed against Loughner do carry the potential for the death penalty.

The next hearing for Loughner will be Monday in Phoenix.