Judge extends Loughner's commitmentPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Doctors have another four months to restore the accused January 8 shooter to competency.
That was the ruling Wednesday from the federal judge in the Jared Loughner case.
After 60 days of forced medication, Loughner's doctor testified he is showing progress.
The last time he appeared in a Tucson courtroom, Jared Loughner left little doubt he was unfit to stand trial after an outburst led to his removal.
But Wednesday he sat calm and quiet through the proceedings Loughner's psychologist says he knows Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords survived the shooting. He knows he murdered others. And he shows remorse.
Dr. Christina Pietz testified those are a few of the stark changes Loughner's shown in the last 60 days since being forcibly medicated.
Other changes include his appearance. Loughner now cares about hygiene, and requested a fresh haircut for today's hearing.
Despite those improvements, Pietz testified Loughner is still suicidal. In the last couple weeks, he wrote a note indicating he plans to hang himself. He also told his father over the phone that he wanted to see him one more time before killing himself. Loughner met with his parents in Tucson Tuesday.
In order to stand trial, Loughner must be able to consult with his lawyers and help in his defense, and he must have a rational and factual understanding of the court proceedings.
Ultimately, Judge Larry Burns agreed doctors are making progress with Loughner and extended his commitment for another 4 months.
Pietz testified Loughner is currently still not competent to stand trial. But she believes he will be in 8 months.