U.S. Cites Evidence Of Assassination Plot On Rep. Gifford

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TUCSON– Prosecutors accused Jared Lee Loughner, a troubled 22-year-old college dropout, of five serious federal charges on Sunday, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, for his role in a shootout that left 20 people wounded, six of them fatally, on Saturday morning.

Court documents filed in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix indicated that evidence seized from Mr. Loughner’s home showed that he had planned to kill Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. Found in Mr. Loughner’s home, F.B.I. special agent Tony M. Tayler Jr. said in an affidavit supporting the charges, was an envelope with the handwritten words, “I planned ahead,” “My assassination,” and “Giffords.”

The details of the envelope were not disclosed.Besides being accused of deliberating trying to take Ms. Giffords’ life, Mr. Loughner was charged with the killing and attempted killing of four United States government officials, among them U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, who was killed; congressional aide Gabriel Zimmerman, also killed; and congressional aides Pamela Simon and Ron Barber, who were wounded.

Ms. Giffords, an Arizona Democrat remained in critical condition on Sunday but has been able to respond to simple commands, and her doctors described themselves as “cautiously optimistic.”

Read more at NYTimes

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