Jared Loughner, the shooter in the Arizona massacre that killed six and critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was sentenced to seven life sentences plus 140 years today.
The 24-year-old man whose wild-eyed mugshot was plastered across front pages nationwide after the January 8, 2011, rampage took a plea deal in August — pleading guilty to 19 counts (his indictment contained 49 counts).
Tucson News Now reports that Judge Larry Burns ruled that Loughner was not insane at the time of the shooting and that it was premeditated:
He knew what he was doing.
Loughner opened fire at a “Congress on Your Corner” meet-the-congresswoman event held at a Safeway supermarket.
Giffords, wife of NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, was shot in the head at point-blank range but miraculously survived. Her long and inspirational road to recovery was well-publicized.
Both Giffords and Kelly were in court for the sentencing today, and Kelly spoke directly to his wife’s attempted murderer:
Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered. Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she once was so good at. … Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place. … Gabby would trade her own life to bring back any one of those you savagely murdered on that day.
Killed in the shooting were Gabe Zimmerman, 30; John Roll, 63; Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Christina Taylor-Green, 9.
Taylor-Green became one of the most prominent heartbreaking stories in the massacre when it came out that she was born on Sept. 11, 2001 — and that she was the granddaughter of Dallas Green, former manager of the Philadelphia Phillies who won a World Series with the team in 1980.
Though just 9 years old, the third-grader was already an aspiring politician (newly elected to the student council at her elementary school) who was excited to meet Giffords that day.
Here’s the criminal complaint against Loughner filed shortly after the shooting:
Here’s the 49-count indictment:
Here’s a forensic report relating to his mental competence:
And here’s his plea agreement: