TUCSON, Ariz. The man who pleaded guilty to a deadly Arizona shooting rampage that wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been sentenced to life in prison.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns sentenced 24-year-old Jared Lee Loughner on Thursday for the January 2011 attack that left six people dead and Giffords and others wounded.
Giffords came face to face Thursday with the man who tried to kill her last year but chose not to speak.
Her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, did all the talking for her, as the couple told Jared Lee Loughner how the 24-year-old’s deadly rampage at the former congresswoman’s political meeting had upended her life.
“Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered,” Kelly said at Loughner’s sentencing. “Every day is a continuous stuggle to do those things she once was so good at.”
Loughner showed no emotion, and looked at the other victims. His mother sobbed nearby.
“Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place,” Kelly said.
Giffords kissed Kelly when he was done. He grabbed her hand and they walked away, with her limping.
Loughner pleaded guilty three months ago to 19 federal charges under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. The deal calls for the dismissal of 30 other charges and a sentence of seven consecutive life terms, followed by 140 years in prison.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.