Lawyers: Loughner sent to Missouri for mental exam

PHOENIX (AP) — The suspect in the January shooting rampage in Tucson was flown Wednesday to a specialized facility in Missouri to undergo a court-ordered mental evaluation, and his lawyers immediately asked an appeals court for him to be returned.

Lawyers for Jared Lee Loughner said in a court filing that he was taken from Tucson to a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Springfield, Mo. Loughner was ordered transferred to have tests to determine if he understands the nature and consequences of the charges he faces and can assist in his defense.

Loughner, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She remains at a rehabilitation center in Houston as she recovers from a bullet wound to the brain.

Late Tuesday, Loughner’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Larry Burns to reconsider his order sending him to Missouri. They also objected to the examination being videotaped and the tapes turned over to the prosecution.

After he was moved at midmorning Wednesday, they asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for essentially the same thing.

Burns’ Monday order required the exam to be done in Springfield and the tapes provided to prosecutors and defense attorneys. Burns also wrote that Loughner’s attorneys can seek a separate competency exam by an independent psychiatrist. But he also ordered that exam to be videotaped as well, with copies to both the defense and prosecution.

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