Loughner Ruled Mentally Fit for Trial

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Jared Loughner, the man suspected of killing six and wounding 13 during a deadly rampage in January in Tucson, will eventually be mentally competent for trial. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said that “measurable progress” had been made in restoring Loughner’s competency after a dramatic day of testimony. Psychologist Christina Pietz testified that Loughner thought that he was being blackmailed and extorted when he was arrested and infamously smiled for his mug shot. Loughner has been forcibly medicated since then, and Pietz said Loughner now understands the shooting and that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is still alive. Loughner has been held at a Missouri prison since being ruled mentally unfit for trial four months ago. Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges relating to the Jan. 8 shooting.