Suspect in Tucson Shooting Rampage Enters Plea

March 9, 2011 - 4:51 PM

Tucson, Ariz. (AP) - The suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that critically injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords pleaded not guilty Wednesday to dozens of new federal charges that accuse him of killing six people and wounding 13 others.

Jared Lee Loughner, who smiled as he was led into the courtroom, entered the plea to charges that included trying to assassinate Giffords, attempting to kill two of her aides and murdering federal judge John Roll and Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman.

He also is charged with causing the deaths of four others who weren't federal employees, causing injury and death to participants at a "federally provided activity" and using a gun in a crime of violence.

Loughner also will likely face state charges stemming from the Jan. 8 attack at a Giffords event outside a Tucson grocery store.

Loughner appeared before U.S. District Judge Larry Burns in kaki prison clothes, his once-shaved head now featuring short, dark hair and side burns. Loughner's father also was in the courtroom. He listened to the proceedings with his arms crossed, head down and eyes closed.

Also in the crowded courtroom were more than 20 U.S. Marshals and security personnel, numerous reporters, about a dozen family members of victims, and at least two survivors of the shooting spree, Susan Hileman and U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Bill Badger.

Hileman, 58, was shot three times in the attack. She was holding 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green's hand when the shooting erupted, and Christina was killed.

Badger, 74, was grazed by a bullet in the back of the head. He is credited with helping to subdue Loughner at the scene.