U.S. prosecutors sought to move all future court hearings for the suspect accused of shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 18 other people to Tuscon, Arizona, from Phoenix to make it easier for victims.
“It is difficult for the victims to attend hearings, since they must factor in a four-hour round trip car ride to Phoenix,” U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke in Phoenix said in a court filing yesterday. “There will be similar logistical issues with the scheduling of witnesses.”
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, in an initial three-count indictment, is accused of the attempted assassination of a member of Congress and attempted murder of two federal employees. The suspect was tackled by bystanders after he allegedly opened fire at a community meeting organized by Giffords outside a supermarket in Tucson. Giffords survived a gunshot to the head. Six people were killed in the attack including U.S. District Judge John Roll, as well as one of Giffords’s aides and a nine- year-old girl.
The case was moved to Phoenix because Roll was based in Tuscon.
Loughner is being held without bail in Phoenix and is scheduled to appear in court later today.
The case is U.S. v. Loughner, 11-cr-00187, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Phoenix).
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