Loughner to plead guilty if ruled competent to stand trial

PHOENIX (AP) - The judge overseeing the Tucson mass shooting case that left six dead and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others wounded has scheduled competency and change of plea hearings for defendant Jared Lee Loughner.

U.S. District Judge Alan Burns scheduling order confirms a plea deal has been reached in the case against Loughner. Before Loughner can enter the plea, Burns must find that he is mentally competent and understands what is happening.

The hearings are set for Tuesday morning in Tucson.

Loughner has spent more than a year in a federal medical facility in Missouri being treated for mental illness.
 

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