Loughner in Missouri for evaluation; Dupnik barred from releasing investigation documents

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Suspected Safeway shooter Jared Loughner, arrived in Missouri Wednesday for a mental evaluation.

A judge ordered Loughner to undergo the exam at a facility in Springfield to determine whether he is competent to stand trial in Arizona.

Loughner faces a slew of charges including murder and attempted assassination in connection with the January 8 mass shooting.  Six people died in the shooting spree, 13 others were injured, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

And the federal courts stepped in to block the release of more details of the investigation against Jared Loughner.

U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns granted the government's motion for a protective order.  It bans Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik from releasing records related to the shooting.

"It's pretty extensive material that the Washington Post was asking for,"

The Washington Post asked for access to over 250 audio recordings, about 200 crime scene photographs, and over 600 pages of material from the investigation.  Sheriff Dupnik refused to deny the Post's request, so the court stepped in.

"I think the court is simply saying it's time we get this publicity to a cooling off point where we can begin to ease it down to go forward with the trial," said criminal defense attorney Brick Storts.

The court believes excess information could compromise Loughner's ability to receive a fair trial. 

"They're simply concerned about a deluge of documentation as to this case being flooded out to the news media," said Storts.

Had Dupnik refused, its likely the Post would have filed a lawsuit against the sheriff's department.

Fighting that legal battle would have cost money and Judge Burns writes that the United States could not sit around and wait for the sheriffs department to be sued.

"Somebody's going to have to be paying for all of that. This certainly stopped that problem and now you have the federal government saying, 'We're going to put a stop to it,'" said Storts.

Meanwhile Loughner's attorney is asking to put their client's mental exam on hold while they file an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Local defense attorney Brick Storts says the length of time it takes to complete a mental competency tests depends on the case, but on average it takes at least two to three months.


TUCSON, Ariz. -- The statue planned as a memorial to the youngest victim of the January 8 shootings will come from a symbolic source.

A piece of steel from the world trade center will be reworked in the form of nearly ten-foot tall angel in honor of Christina-Taylor Ggreen.

The artist will select it from debris stored in a hangar atN ew York's JFK airport.

Green was born September 11, 2001, the day the twin towers fell.