TUCSON, AZ - A federal court in Arizona issued an order recusing all district judges and magistrate judges from hearing the case of the suspect in Tucson's deadly shooting.
Suspect Jared Loughner is being held without bail and has been assigned a lawyer who defended "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski.
Loughner is reportedly being held at the Federal Correctional Institute until his next hearing on Jan. 24. It's a medium security facility 25 miles north of Phoenix near Anthem.
According to the Tuesday order, "... because a judge has a duty to disqualify him or herself if his or her impartiality could be reasonably questioned, whether or not such impartiality actually exists, this Court must recuse itself from the above-captioned case."
On Monday Loughner entered the courtroom handcuffed, shackled, and wearing a tan inmate uniform. His head is shaved and he has a cut on his right temple.
Loughner made his initial court appearance in federal court at 2 p.m. at the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse; state charges have yet to be filed.
The court set Loughner’s preliminary hearing for Jan. 24.
Loughner, described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in mistrust, faces charges that he tried to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead and wounded 14 others.
His expression was impassive as he walked in, looking straight at the crowd at the back of the room packed with reporters, then turning around to speak to his attorney, Judy Clarke. He responded "yes" when asked if he understood his rights.
His attorney, who also defended "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, whispered to him.
The judge asked Loughner if he understood that he could get life in prison -- or the death penalty -- for killing federal Judge John Roll, one of the six who died in the shooting rampage at Giffords' meeting with constituents on Saturday in Tucson.
"Yes," he said, standing at a lectern in his beige prison jumpsuit. A U.S. marshal stood guard nearby.
The judge ordered Loughner held without bail.
Throngs of reporters and television news crews lined up outside the federal courthouse, where the hearing was moved from Tucson because Roll was a longtime judge at the federal courthouse there.
He is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says state charges will also be filed.
He says the county attorney's office will file them on recommendation from his office.
Dupnik says there's no rush because Loughner is in custody.
Dupnik said Loughner was not cooperating and told ABC’s “Good Morning America” the suspect had said “not a word” to investigators.
Dupnik said authorities were all but certain Loughner acted alone, saying “he’s a typical troubled individual who’s a loner.”
The hearing in Phoenix comes just a few hours after President Barack Obama lead a shocked and saddened nation in a moment of silence for the victims and their families. Obama observed the moment of silence at 9 a.m. Arizona Time with White House staff on the South Lawn.
As authorities filed the charges against Loughner Sunday, they alleged he scrawled on an envelope the words “my assassination” and “Giffords” sometime before he took a cab to a shopping center where the congresswoman was meeting with constituents Saturday morning.
Investigators said they have seized evidence suggesting Loughner planned the Saturday attack ahead of time.
Police say he purchased the Glock pistol used in the attack at Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson in November.
Court papers filed with the charges against Loughner said he had previous contact with the Democratic lawmaker. The documents said he had received a letter from Giffords in which she thanked him for attending a "Congress on your Corner" event at a mall in Tucson in 2007.
Authorities don't know Loughner's motive, but said he targeted Giffords at Saturday's public gathering.
The Associated Press is reporting the suspect Jared Loughner was rejected by the Army in the past because of a failed drug test.
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