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Loughner back in Missouri for treatment

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Loughner back in Missouri for treatment

Accused Jan. 8 shooter Jared Lee Loughner has been flown back to Missouri, where he will undergo further treatment to restore his ability to stand trial.

Loughner had been held in a federal prison in Tucson, pending appeals by his defense team to halt the involuntary medication of the accused gunman. He was returned to the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshal's Service said.

Loughner, now 23, has been forced to take anti-psychotic drugs after officials at the federal prison hospital determined that he is a danger to himself. Loughner is suicidal, the government maintains. He has been diagnosed as schizophrenic by government doctors.

He was in Tucson for a Sept. 26 court hearing to determine if he was able to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled that the government could treat Loughner for another four months.

Burns has said that a judicial hearing on whether to forcibly medicate Loughner for the purpose of restoring his competency is likely. The judge ruled in May that Loughner is unable to understand the charges against him or cooperate with his attorneys.

Loughner was charged with 49 federal counts related to the Jan. 8 shooting incident. 14 of the charges could potentially result in a death sentence. Six were killed and 13 wounded in the shooting rampage at a "Congress On Your Corner" meet-and-greet with constituents at a Northwest Side grocery story. Among those wounded was U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from being shot in the head.

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