Judge OKs release of Jan. 8 investigation
Sheriff's Dep't: Documents will take more than a week to organize & release
A federal judge has said it's up to the Pima County Sheriff's Department to release records related to the Jan. 8 shooting rampage, lifting a bar on the release of investigative records in the case.
The order, signed Monday and filed Tuesday morning, grants a motion by the Arizona Daily Star that sought the release of hundreds of pages of records, along with video of the shooting.
The records had been sealed, at the request of prosecutors, to ensure that gunman Jared Lee Loughner received a fair trial, said U.S. District Judge Larry Burns.
"Now that Mr. Loughner has pleaded guilty and been sentenced, the Government’s time line has expired and the Court’s guiding concern has vanished," Burns wrote in lifting the order.
The Sheriff's Department is working to organize the information for the dozens of news organizations that have requested it, said a spokesman.
Printing and organizing the material, and preparing it for review by attorneys who will redact some information to protect privacy, will take at least a week, said Deputy Tom Peine.
Loughner, now 24, was sentenced to seven life terms, plus 140 years, for attempting to assassinate then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Jan. 8, 2011, shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including the congresswoman.
Killed that morning were Christina-Taylor Green, 9; Dorothy "Dot" Morris, 76; John Roll, 63; Phyllis Schneck, 79; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, 30.
Giffords, who was shot through the head, is now partly blind and has a paralyzed right arm. She also suffers from aphasia. She resigned from Congress a year ago.