Forensic psychiatrist discusses Loughner's expected guilty plea

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Accused Tucson mass killer Jared Lee Loughner is slated to enter Tucson's federal court Tuesday and enter guilty pleas to some or all of the 49 charges he now faces.

This dramatic new development in a case that shocked the nation was first reported over the weekend and confirmed by court officials Monday.

The plea deal will reportedly spare Loughner the possibility of a death sentence on the federal charges, while assuring that he spends the rest of his life in custody.

On a quiet Saturday morning in January 2011, Loughner is accused of shooting and killing six people, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and wounding another 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Since that time, Loughner has spent months at a federal psychiatric hospital in Missouri after it was determined that he was not competent to stand trial.

"Make no mistake about it, this is no free walk for Jared Loughner," well-known forensic psychiatrist and Valley resident Dr. Steven Pitt said today. "This is an extremely tortured soul who is going to live the rest of his life in his own hell."