Grand Jury Indicts Jared Loughner on 46 News Charges in Giffords Shooting
Jared Lee Loughner was charged on new counts that include the murders of US District Judge John Roll and Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman, according to an indictment released today.
A federal grand jury returned the 49-count indictment yesterday; Loughner also faces new charges of causing death to or injuring participants at a federally provided activity. Loughner had pleaded not guilty to earlier federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides. Federal prosecutors haven't yet said whether they will seek the death penalty against Loughner, but legal experts believe it's a virtual certainty.
Loughner had already been arraigned on three counts of attempted murder against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) and two aides as they gathered at a Tucson supermarket to meet with constituents.
But, employing a novel legal argument, prosecutors persuaded a federal grand jury to indict him on 46 new charges, on the theory that the shootings occurred on protected federal ground, as if it happened in Congress. Six people, including a chief federal district judge, were killed, and 13 - including Giffords - were injured.