Jared Loughner Pleads Not Guilty. Reportedly Smiling in Courtroom

loughner mugshot.jpg
Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Tucson shooting suspect Jared Loughner was in a Phoenix federal courtroom this morning where he pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides.

Outside the courthouse, dozens of local and national media outlets awaited information on his plea from court officials. KPHO describes Loughner as "smiling and wearing an orange prison suit and glasses" during his appearance in front of the judge.

The attempted murder charges are just the first of several -- both state and federal -- Loughner will face following the January 8, shooting rampage that left six people dead and 13 others injured.

Loughner's reportedly shown no remorse for his alleged crimes -- and judging by KPHO's description, it doesn't seem much has changed.

In a recent interview with the Daily Beast, U.S. Marshal David Gonzales described Loughner's demeanor while in custody by saying "he doesn't say much, he just sits in his cell with a smirk on his face, nothing else."

See Gonzales' full description below:

The Daily Beast: Have you seen Loughner, where is he now?

Gonzales: We have him now. I was with him Tuesday. He doesn't say much, he just sits in his cell with a smirk on his face, nothing else.

That same smile from his mugshot?

Not a smile, just a smirk. When I saw him he was in the temporary cell, just before his arraignment. It's a 6' by 6' holding cell. He refuses to talk with deputy marshals, just 'yes' or 'no,' or 'OK,' just one-syllable answers. It's almost like nobody is worthy of him speaking to anybody. I saw him at about 1:45, I went to the temporary cell block outside the courtroom to escort him in with other deputy Marshals.

Did you ask him anything?

No, there's no reason or need for that.

How was he behaving?

He has this sort of "paranoid headlights" stare, I was talking to a psychologist friend of mine and that seems like the right term for what I saw. He just sat there, elbows resting on his knees, staring straight ahead and smirking. I saw him do that for about 15 minutes straight, just looking at the wall. After the arraignment, he was taken back to the holding cell and transferred to an undisclosed location. [Some reports say Loughner has been transferred to the Federal Correctional Facility in Phoenix, FCI Phoenix.]

Loughner will face federal murder charges for the deaths of federal Judge John Roll and Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman. He'll also will be charged with state crimes for the murders of four others, including 9-year-old Christina Green.

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The fact that Jared Loughner smiled and chuckled during his indictment doesn't surprise me at all. Neither does his doing nothing in his cell but sitting with the same smirk and "paranoid headlights" stare from his mugshot. Of course he's going to act this way; he isn't normal. That he was lucid enough at times to research, plot, and know the consequences of his attack on Gabrielle Giffords is secondary. The man is a paranoid schizophrenic, a psychotic. If he isn't speaking it's because he's too deeply into his own distorted inner world to want to talk to anyone, including his own parents. I'm amazed that people don't get it, but I guess I shouldn't be since the public is so fearful and ignorant of mental illness and its symptoms that they squabble about Loughner's perceived politics and the gun control issue instead of focusing the real cause of the shootings because those things are more tangible than psychiatric illnesses.

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