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Loughner mental report due Wednesday

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Loughner mental report due Wednesday

A report on prison doctors' efforts to restore Jared Loughner's fitness for trial is due to be filed with a federal court Wednesday.

Psychologist Christina Pietz was ordered to update U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Loughner's progress.

Burns has previously ruled that Loughner was not competent to stand trial, but that doctors at a Bureau of Prisons hospital in Missouri, including Pietz, were likely to restore the accused Jan. 8 shooter's ability to understand the charges against him and cooperate with his attorneys.

Loughner faces 49 federal counts in what authorities charge was an assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Jan. 8, 2011. Fourteen of the charges carry a possible death penalty.

Loughner's current stay at the prison hospital is scheduled to end Feb. 8. A hearing on extending his time there is likely to be set after the mental health report is filed.

Petiz's report will not be publicly released due to privacy rules. Details of her previous reports have been discussed in court hearings.

Doctors have testified that Loughner, 22 at the time of the attack, is schizophrenic, and suffers from hallucinations and delusional thinking.

Six died and 13 were wounded in the shooting rampage at a "Congress On Your Corner" meeting with constituents at a Northwest Side grocery store.

Giffords announced Sunday that she was stepping down from Congress to focus on her recovery. The congresswoman was shot through the left side of her brain, and has only cast a single vote in Congress since the attack.

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