Jared Loughner back in Tucson for hearingPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The accused killer in the January 8 shootings is back in Tucson.
Wednesday Jared Loughner will be back in court as the prosecution and defense continue to discuss his mental state. How long now until he's able to stand trial?
Since a courtroom outburst in May, Jared Loughner has spent the last 4 months at a prison hospital in Missouri.
Doctors there are forcibly medicating him because they believe Loughner is suicidal and a danger to himself.
They also hope the psychotropic drugs they're giving him will eventually make Loughner competant to stand trial for the January 8 shootings.
Prosecutors want Loughner's commitment to the mental health facility extended by 8 months. At Wednesday's hearing, a psychologist will testify she believes Loughner can be made competetant to stand trial by then.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns will consider that request, plus one from the defense.
Loughner's lawyers want the judge to order a hearing on whether prison doctors can forcibly medicate the 23 year old. A hearing is required if he's being medicated solely to restore his competence. But prosectors claim the primary reason is he's a threat to himself and others.
Since his outburst last May, prison doctors say Loughner now paces around his cell less, and makes more eye contact.
And despite his lawyers arguing they didn't want Loughner in Tucson for this hearing, the defendant himself told his doctor he very much wants to be here.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges relating to the deaths of 6 people and wounding of 13 others on January 8.