Victims Speak to Gunman During Sentencing
TUCSON, Ariz. — (CNN) — Jared Loughner, the Arizona man who pleaded guilty to the attempted assassination of then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will be formally sentenced Thursday.
Federal prosecutors have said Loughner will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the January 2011 shooting, which killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords.
The congresswoman was holding a meet-and-greet event with constituents in Tucson when Loughner walked up and shot her in the head.
As part of a plea deal with the government, Loughner, 24, pleaded guilty in August to 19 charges in exchange for the sentence to avoid facing the death penalty. Under the plea agreement, Loughner admitted guilt in the wounding of Giffords and the murders of federal employees U.S. District Court Chief Judge John M. Roll, 63, and congressional aide Gabriel M. Zimmerman, 30.
Loughner admitted causing the deaths of Christina-Taylor Green, 9; Dorothy “Dot” J. Morris, 76; Phyllis C. Schneck, 79; and Dorwan C. Stoddard, 76, prosecutors said.
Loughner also pleaded guilty to the attempted murders of federal employees and congressional aides Ronald S. Barber, 65, and Pamela K. Simon, 63, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors agreed to the plea deal after taking into account Loughner’s history of mental illness and the views of victims and their families. The judge in August ruled Loughner competent to stand trial.
Giffords and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, plan to appear in court for the first time in the case, a source close to Giffords said, adding Kelly plans to speak on behalf of the family.
Below is a progression of the sentencing proceedings and some of the victims’ statements made in court Thursday morning, addressed to Loughner.
CNN’s Dana Bash and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.