Jared Loughner Charged in Federal Court
Loughner is charged with the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing a federal officer or employee, and two counts of attempted murder of a federal officer or employee. The victims in counts 2 though 5 are Judge John Roll and Gifford staffers, Gabriel Zimmerman, Pamela Simon and Ron Barber.
As to Judge Roll being at the event in his official capacity, the Affidavit in support of the Complaint states: [More...]
On January 9,201 1, your affiant spoke with U.S. Marshal David Gonzales, who stated that the Honorable John M. Roll, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, had worked with Congresswoman Giffords within the last several months to resolve issues related to the volume of cases filed in the District of Arizona. Judge Roll was notified about Congresswoman Giffords' event telephonically on or about January 7, 2011.
Having spoken to Pia Carusone, the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Giffords in Washington D.C., U.S. Marshal Gonzales reports that Ron Barber, a staff person for Congresswoman Giffords who was present at the event, stated that Judge Roll attended the event and sought to speak to federal cases in the District of Arizona; Judge Roll expressed his appreciation to Mr. Barber for the help and support that Congresswoman Giffords had given.
Your affiant reviewed a digital surveillance video depicting the events at the Safeway; in the video, Judge Roll is seen speaking for several minutes with Mr. Barber.
The Complaint does not charge Laughner with the other killings or shootings. The Affidavit says:
In addition to the many wounded, the other victims killed by LOUGHNER were Phyllis Schneck, Dorothy Morris, Dorwan Stoddard, and Christine Green.
This may mean Arizona will file state charges against Loughner for these other killings and injuries, probably as a capital crime, seeking the death penalty. Any decision on whether the death penalty will be sought federally will either come with the Indictment or later.
As to Congresswoman Giffords being the intended target, the Affidavit states a search warrant was executed for Loughner's residence:
Some of the evidence seized from that location included a letter in a safe, addressed to "Mr. Jared Loughner" at 774 1 N. Soledad Avenue, from Congresswoman Giffords, on Congressional stationary, dated August 30, 2007, thanking him for attending a "Congress on your Corner" event at the Foothills Mall in Tucson. Also recovered in the safe was an envelope with handwriting on the envelope stating "I planned ahead," and "My assassination" and the name "Giffords," along with what appears to be LOUGHNER's signature.
Loughner will not be represented by the Federal Defender's office because of the connection to Judge Roll. The Defender's Office is seeking to find counsel for him.
It's now been determined Loughner acted alone. The other man being sought by authorities has been cleared. He was a cab-driver who drove Loughner to the Safeway store.
Loughner will make his first court appearance Monday at 2:00 p.m.
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