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Jared Lee Loughner will spend life in prison for Tucson massacre

By Daniel S Levine,

Jared Lee Loughner, the man responsible for killing six people and wounding 13 in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011, will spend the rest of his life in prison. He received seven life sentences in court Thursday.

Loughner nearly killed then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during the massacre outside an event at a Tucson grocery store. Giffords was at the hearing and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, spoke for her. “You tried to create a world as dark and evil as your own. Remember this: You failed,” Kelly said in the courtroom, reports The Arizona Republic.

“Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head but you haven't put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place,” Kelly added.

Other victims spoke at the hearing as Judge Larry Burn imposed the sentence. Laughner received seven consecutive life sentences.

“You pointed a weapon and shot me three times,” Suzi Hileman told the 24-year-old Loughner, reports CBS News. “And now I walk out of this courtroom and into the rest of my life, and I won't think of you again.”

Loughner had agreed to plead guilty to 19 federal charges three months ago. The deal stated that he would be in jail for the rest of his life without parole. Prosecutors had agreed to drop 30 other charges.

Loughner’s prison psychologist, Christina Pietz, testified at Thursday’s hearing, stating that he did understand the charges against him, despite his mental illness.

Pima County prosecutors could file state charges against Loughner, if they chose to do so. They have not announced a decision yet. It is also not known if he will serve his time in federal prison.

 

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