Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly will attend the Thursday sentencing on of Jared Lee Loughner, the man behind the 2011 shooting rampage that injured her and left six people dead.
The man who shot Giffords in the head in the Tucson incident has struck a plea deal with prosecutors that will spare him the death penalty, but will most likely keep him behind bars for life, a source told Politico.
Kelly plans to address Loughner on their behalf, the source told Politico.
When the plea deal was struck with federal prosecutors, Kelly said in a statement that both he and Giffords were “satisfied” with the Justice Department’s decision to accept the agreement over pursuing the death penalty.
On Jan. 8, 2011, Loughner opened fire at a Giffords event outside a Tuscon supermarket. He killed six people, including federal judge John M. Roll, Giffords aide Gabriel Zimmerman and 9-year-old Christina Taylor-Green. He wounded 13 others.
Giffords was rushed to a nearby hospital, where surgeons saved her life. She underwent intensive in-patient recovery in Houston before returning to the House to vote to avoid a default on the nation’s debt in the summer of 2011. She resigned her seat this past January.
At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September, Giffords recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
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