AZ prosecutors weigh local shooting charges - East Valley Tribune: Politics

AZ prosecutors weigh local shooting charges

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Posted: Monday, January 10, 2011 12:08 pm | Updated: 5:47 pm, Mon Jan 10, 2011.

TUCSON - State prosecutors are researching whether they have to wait until after the federal case against the suspect in Saturday's mass shooting is resolved, or if they can proceed with local charges at the same time, a prosecutor said Monday.

Jared Loughner, 22, of Tucson, made his first court appearance Monday in Phoenix on federal charges stemming from the fatal shooting of six people, including a federal judge, and injuring or wounding of 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

He is charged in federal court with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.

Those stem from the killing of U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll and Gabriel Zimmerman, a Giffords aide, as well as the attempted murder of Giffords and two other aides, Pamela Simon and Ron Barber.

In state court, there are countless potential local charges, said Barbara LaWall, Pima County attorney.

"We have exclusive jurisdiction over all the individuals who are not federal employees who are victims on this case," she said.

"So we have the deceased victims, we have individuals who were injured and shot but survived, and then we have literally dozens of victims or people who were in the line of fire who were victims of endangerment."

Because Loughner will remain in federal custody, the normal deadlines wouldn't apply to local prosecutors if they proceed, LaWall said.

The added time would allow attorneys for the state to research and compile a thorough case before making decisions on charges, she said.


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