Federal court imposes partial stay for Loughner psych exam tapes

Saturday, March 26, 2011 | 4:11 p.m. CDT

PHOENIX — A federal appeals court has imposed a partial stay on a lower court's order to distribute the videotaped psychological evaluations of the Tucson shooting suspect to prosecutors.

Jared Lee Loughner is undergoing a mental competency exam at a federal medical facility in Springfield. He's pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shootings that killed six people and wounded 13, including Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Loughner's lawyers argue that providing prosecutors with the recordings would violate their client's right to a fair trial.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a temporary stay late Friday, but only to the extent that the videotapes of all evaluations should be withheld from all attorneys until the appellate judges have a chance to review the matter.

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