Loughner sentenced to 7 life terms plus 140 years

Published: Nov. 8, 2012 at 11:43 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:21 PM MST
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(Source: Bill Robles)
(Source: Bill Robles)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Convicted mass shooter Jared Loughner was sentenced to seven life terms in prison plus 140 years.

Loughner, 24, appeared in federal court in downtown Tucson today at 10 a.m.

Loughner was convicted after agreeing to a plea deal in August. He pleaded guilty to 19 counts including the attempted assassination of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Jan. 8, 2011. Six of the life sentences were for the six fatalities, and the seventh sentence was for the attempted assassination of Giffords.

The deal guaranteed he will spend the rest of his life in prison, but it also took the death penalty off the table.

Federal Judge Larry Burns said that Loughner was not insane at the time of the shooting and that it was premeditated. "He knew what he was doing," Burns said.

Six people died in that shooting at the Congress on Your Corner event outside of the Safeway on Ina Road. Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' outreach director; John Roll, 63, a federal judge; Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Christina-Taylor Green, 9, were killed.

The courtroom with filled with victims and their loved ones.

Tucson News Now's Sonu Wasu is tweeting from inside the courtroom. She says Loughner looked somber and expressionless. After a psychologist, Dr. Christina Pietz, testified that he was competent to proceed with sentencing, Loughner waived his right to address the court.

This brings the federal case to a close.

Patricia Maisch, who helped tackle Loughner on Jan. 8, was the first to speak in court. "That beautiful day our mental health system failed us. For six that failure was devastating and unimaginable," Maisch said.

Suzi Hileman addressed the court saying, "I will now walk out of this courtroom, and I will never think of you again." She looked directly at Loughner, who sat still looking at her and listening.

Mavanell Stoddard, whose husband was killed in the shooting said, "You took my precious husband and ruined my whole life. He died saving me." Her husband died trying to shield her from the gunfire. She said she hoped Loughner could can find Jesus, "I forgive you. I don't hate you. I hate the act you performed."

Congressman Ron Barber, injured in the shooting, said, "We saw the courage of strangers coming to our aid. We saw great kindness as we began our healing. Now you must pay the price."

Giffords and Kelly addressed Loughner together. Giffords stood next to her husband as he read a strongly worded statement. Kelly said, "For the first and last time, you're going to hear from Gabby and me…Pay attention."

Kelly said to Loughner, "You tried to bring us into your dark, evil world. But know this, you failed."

"You may have put her bullet through her head, but you did not put a dent in her spirit," he said.

After the victims spoke, the prosecutor addressed the courtroom with the names of the victim's and details about their lives and impact of the shooting. The prosecutor said it took "months of drugs" to convince Loughner that he did not kill Giffords.

The prosecutor also mentioned Amy and Randy Loughner, Jared's parents, as victims. "They also lost their son, but under different circumstances."

Victims said they do not want restitution from Loughner in this case and they are also not requiring a fine as Loughner has no means to pay a fine.

Judge Burns recommended leaving Loughner at prison in Springfield, MO with continued medical treatment.

According to Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, the state has decided to not file charges against Loughner.

Copyright 2012 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.