Sunday 21 December 2014

Giffords gunman given life sentence

Published 08/11/2012 | 19:48

Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty to the Arizona shooting rampage that left six people dead (AP)

The man who pleaded guilty to the deadly Arizona shooting rampage that wounded former US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been sentenced to life in prison.

US district judge Larry Burns sentenced 24-year-old Jared Lee Loughner for the January 2011 attack that left six people dead and Ms Giffords and several others wounded.

Loughner pleaded guilty to federal charges under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Tucson hearing marked the first time victims - including Ms Giffords, a Democrat - could confront Loughner in court.

Ms Giffords' husband, former astronaut Mark E Kelly, spoke on her behalf, saying Loughner changed his wife's life forever, but could not dent her spirit.

Ms Giffords hugged her husband after the life term was revealed.

Loughner, who was wearing trousers and a dark brown shirt with a tie, showed little response to the sentence, which he had agreed to in a deal that kept him from the death penalty.

Loughner's mother sobbed during the hearing. US marshals escorted the parents from the courtroom after the sentencing.

Press Association

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