The Main Stream

Aug 6, 2012 10:51 PM

Survivor of January 8 mass shooting reacts to Loughner's change of plea

TUCSON-The man suspected in Tucson's mass shooting on January 8th is in a Tucson federal prison.

U.S. Marshals flew Jared Loughner to Tucson ahead of his appearance in federal court Tuesday at 11am.

He's expected to plead guilty to killing six people, and wounding 13 others including former Congresswoman, Gabrielle Gifford's.

A U.S. district court judge confirms a plea agreement has been reached.

However before Loughner can enter the plea, the judge must find him mentally competent to understand what is happening.

Loughner has spent more than a year at a federal medical facility in Missouri being treated for mental illness. He previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges from the shooting outside the Safeway where former Representative Gifford's was holding a meet and greet with constituents.

Some of the victims' families, and survivors of January 8th, are expected to attend the hearing.

Some tell News 4 they want to hear Jared Loughner take responsibility for his actions on January 8th. Mavy Stoddard is one of the survivors. Her husband Darwin died protecting her.

Her reaction to Loughner's guilty plea, "It makes me feel a lot better for him to acknowledge what he has done."

She also tells News 4 Tucson, the thought of reliving those horrifying moments in a trial is too much for her and some of the other victims.

While she won't be at the hearing on Tuesday because of a recent illness she knows her husband would have also wanted a guilty plea.

"Oh yes, definitely he would like for lLoughner to plead guilty," she said.

Mike Piccarreta represents the family of Federal Judge John Roll, who died on January 8.

Piccarreta will be at Tuesday's hearing. He says the plea is a fair resolution to a difficult case.

"I think there is protection of the public by keeping him locked up for the rest of his days and on the other hand saves the public a lot of money from going through the expense of attempting to a death penalty."

Carol Gaxiola who heads Homicide Survivors says there will be an array of emotions in the courtroom. She knows firsthand. Her daughter was murdered in 1999. Two men are in prison and one of them pleaded guilty.

"You're going to feel some relief. Very often what happens, is that the kind of relief you feel, isn't what you anticipated."

Mavy Stoddard says even though she won't be in court but a U.S. Attorney representative will let her know the minute Jared Loughner admits he's guilty.


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