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Jared Loughner cleared to return to Missouri

Friday, October 07, 2011
Jared Loughner, seen in a police mug shot, is accused in a Jan. 8 shooting massacre in Tucson, Ariz.

Jared Loughner, seen in a police mug shot, is accused in a Jan. 8 shooting massacre in Tucson, Ariz. (KABC Photo)

The suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage has been cleared to be sent from Arizona to a Missouri prison facility for more mental health treatment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request Friday by Jared Lee Loughner's attorneys to keep him in Tucson. The appeals court said Loughner's lawyers have not demonstrated any irreparable harm that's likely to come if he is sent to Missouri.

Earlier this week, the court had put a temporary block on the government's plan to return Loughner to Missouri, but Friday's ruling lifts that temporary order and opens the door for his trip back to Springfield.

His attorneys want him to stay in Arizona while they appeal a lower court's ruling that extends their mentally-ill client's stay at a Missouri prison.

Before coming back to Arizona for a hearing last week, Loughner was at a Missouri facility for four months, where experts have been trying to make him mentally fit to stand trial. Prison officials have forcibly medicated Loughner with psychotropic drugs for more than 60 days.

A judge concluded that Loughner can probably be made psychologically ready for trial and ordered him back to Missouri for four more months of treatment.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, at a meet-and-greet event held by the congresswoman outside a Tucson grocery store.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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