The U.S. Attorney’s Office said it is not confirming or denying reports that Jared Loughner will plead guilty in last year’s shooting rampage outside a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket.
The attack killed six people and wounded 13 others, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal reported that Loughner, 23, is now mentally competent to understand the charges against him and that a status hearing on his competency, scheduled for Tuesday morning, will now be a change-of-plea hearing.
“I can neither confirm or deny the reports in the L.A. Times and other media about the Loughner case,” Bill Solomon, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, told CNN when asked about the reports late Saturday night.
Asked if his office planned to issue a comment Monday, Solomon said, there was “nothing planned at this time.”
Loughner was facing the possibility of a death sentence if convicted. However, a plea deal — if one is in the works — may mean that he would admit guilt in exchange for a lengthy prison sentence.
Prosecutors have said that Loughner, who spent time on suicide watch, suffers from schizophrenia. His mental condition has been central to much of the related court proceedings since the mass shooting.
In February, a federal judge ruled Loughner could receive medical treatment for another four months. A psychologist found “measurable progress” in the suspect’s condition.
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Article courtesy cnn.com