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Jared Lougner pleads not guilty to Arizona shooting charges

22-year-old man charged with attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords back in court today.

Mugshot photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office of shooting suspect Jared Loughner.
Mugshot photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office of shooting suspect Jared Loughner.
Image: AP Photo/Pima County Sheriff's Dept. via The Arizona Republic

THE 22-YEAR-OLD MAN charged over a multiple shooting in Arizona earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to one charge of attempted assassination and two of attempted murder.

Thirteen people, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, were injured and six killed in the gun attack outside a supermarket on Saturday, 8 January.

Jared Loughner did not speak as his not guilty plea was entered with respect to the attempted assassination of Giffords and the attempted murder of two of her aides, ABC News reports.

Loughner has been held since his arrest at the scene of the shooting and also faces two murder charges. He is being defended by Judy Clarke. The federal public defender’s office had initially mistakenly said Clarke had defended the Oklahoma city bomber, but has since said that was not so.

In court today, the prosecution said it had presented Clarke with 25 disks from Loughner’s computer as well as 250 witness statements.

Giffords, who was shot in the head at close range, is recovering at a rehabilitation facility in Texas. Doctors are optimistic that after making quick progress following her emergency brain surgery, she could make a full recovery. She was hosting a public meeting for her constituents when a single gunman started shooting.

A federal judge and a nine-year-old girl were among the dead; no charges relating to their deaths have yet been brought.

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