PHOENIX (CN) – The man accused of killing a federal judge and 5 other people, including a little girl, and of wounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made his initial appearance Monday at the Federal Courthouse. His public defender told the court, “There is great concern with proceeding any further than today with Arizona judges.”
All federal judges from the Southern District of Arizona recused themselves from the case because Arizona Chief Judge John Roll was killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage. U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Anderson ordered Jared Loughner held without bail at the end of a 15-minute hearing.
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, stood in a tan prison jumpsuit with his public defender, Judy Clarke, and responded to Judge Anderson’s questions in a deep, steady voice. Loughner, sporting a black left eye, a shaved head and a bruised forehead, smiled upon entering the courtroom packed with about 50 reporters and court employees.
He is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government, and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.
Clarke, who will be assisted by San Diego defense lawyer Mark Fleming, has defended “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, and Susan Smith, a North Carolina woman who drowned her two sons.
Loughner will make his next appearance at the federal courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24, for a preliminary hearing.
Gov. Jan Brewer eschewed policy and politics in her annual State of the State speech Monday before a joint session of the Arizona Legislature. She used the entire speech to address the shootings in Tucson.
“Tragedy and terror sometimes come from the shadows – and steal our joy and take away our peace,” Brewer said. “That happened on Saturday when a gunman took away people we love, innocent people, and outstanding public servants – like U.S. District Judge John M. Roll. Judge Roll had just come from the light of a Catholic Mass, and confronted the darkness of a madman.”
Three flower arrangements stood in the foyer of the Evo A. DeConcini Federal Courthouse in Tucson, in honor of Judge Roll, one of them sent from a federal court in Texas.
A makeshift memorial has been created outside of Giffords’ midtown Tucson headquarters, with candles, flowers, pictures, signs and messages scrawled with chalk on the sidewalk.
The messages included: “End the hate in politics please let’s come together as one people …”; “Stop the ugly violent rhetoric”; and “Sad and heartbroken in Tucson.”
Giffords remains in critical condition at University Medical Center in Tucson. Five other shooting victims are in serious condition, two are in good condition, and two others were discharged Monday. Fourteen people were wounded in the attack.
“At this time, no change is good, and we have no change,” Dr. G. Michael Lemole Jr., section chief of neurosurgery, said Monday, referring to the swelling in Giffords’ brain.
Giffords reportedly was able to make a thumbs-up signal to doctors on Monday.
President Barack Obama will travel to Tucson on Wednesday to attend a memorial service, “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America,” at McKale Center at the University of Arizona. The start of classes on the campus has been delayed until Thursday.
Here is a link to Courthouse News’ Monday report on the shootings.