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Archive for May 25th, 2011

Judge Rules Az. Shooter Jared Loughner Incompetent; Loughner Has Outburst in Court

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a ruling that comes as little surprise, a federal judge on Wednesday in Arizona ruled that Jared L. Loughner, who killed 6 and wounded 13 others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is not mentally competent to stand trial, the New York Times reported.

U.S. District Judge  Larry A. Burns of  Tucson ruled that Loughner will be sent to a psychiatric facility until Sept. 21. At that point,  a hearing will be held to revisit his competency,   the New York Times reported.

If his status remains the same, he’ll be periodically re-evaluated.

“At the present time, Mr. Loughner does not have a rational understanding of these proceedings,” Judge Burns said, according to the Times.

The Times reported that the judge issued the ruling minutes after Loughner, 22, was dragged out of the courtroom. At one point he shouted, according to the Times:

“Thank you for the freak show. She died right in front of me. You’re treasonous.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. Make Cameo Appearances in Blago Trial

Rahm Emanuel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Newly minted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a cameo appearance Thursday  in the Rod Blagojevich public corruption retrial in downtown Chicago that lasted only a few  minutes, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Under questioning by defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky, Emanuel was asked his occupation, according to the Trib.

“Mayor of the City of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

“Is it safe to say it is a new job for you?” Sorosky asked.

“Unless your subscription to the newspaper ended recently, yes,” Emanuel said.

Under questioning, Emanuel denied that  he was ever asked as a Congressman to have his brother arrange a fundraiser for Blago, in exchange for the release of a $2 million grant to a school in Emanuel’s congressional district, the Trib reported.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr./campaign photo

He also denied that he was ever asked to set up  a nonprofit that would be headed up by  Blagojevich in exchange that Blago appoint Obama’s  friend Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate, the Tribune reported.

Rep. Jackson denied allegations that he wanted to give Blago a $1.5 million campaign contribution in exchange for getting the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, the Trib reported.

Jackson testified that he had waged a very public campaign to get the appointment.

“I talked with all sorts of people about the United States Senate seat,” Jackson said, according to the Trib.

Justice Dept. Gives Green Light to Indict John Edwards, NBC Reports

John Edwards

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Once a presidential hopeful, John Edwards now faces far less hopeful times.

NBC News reports that the Justice Department has given the OK to file charges against Edwards, 57,  for alleged violations of  campaign finance laws stemming from a cover up of an extra-marital affair with Rielle Hunter.

NBC reported that a plea bargain is possible.

A federal grand jury in North Carolina is looking into the case.

Edwards ran as vice president in 2004 and also campaigned for president in 2004 and 2008.

Mobster Plotted to Kill Fed Prosecutor in NY, Witness Testifies

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former boss of the Bonanno crime family Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano plotted to kill a mob-busting federal prosecutor at an upper East Side Italian restaurant over an issue of disrespect, a government witness testified Tuesday in federal court in New York, the New York Daily News reported.

Ex-mobster Dominick Cicale testified that Basciano planned to kill Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres at Campagnola, an upper East Side Italian restaurant, the Daily News reported.

The testimony came during the death penalty phase for Basciano, who was convicted last week for ordering a hit on a mobster.

Cicale testified that a private eye passed on a message to  Basciano in the spring of 2004 from then-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino, who was in prison.

“Joe Massino wanted to let Vinny know the prosecutor was disrespectful … and the prosecutor ate at Campagnola’s every Thursday night,” Cicale testified, according to the Daily News.

Basciano was waiting for the OK to execute the prosecutor, but nothing ever happened, the Daily News reported.

FBI Says Corrupt U.S. Border Agents a Serious Threat