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Aug 5, 2012 1:10 PM by Matt Stafford

AP source: Tucson shooter may get life in prison through plea deal

A person familiar with the Jared Lee Loughner case says a court-appointed psychiatrist will testify Tuesday that Loughner is competent to enter a plea in the murders and attempted murders including the wounding of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

The person, speaking on condition of anonymity about upcoming events in the criminal case, says the plan is for Loughner to enter a guilty plea that would result in a sentence of life imprisonment. The source was not authorized to discuss the case publicly

The plan is contingent on the judge in the case allowing Loughner to enter the plea.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the January 2011 shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded Giffords and 12 others.

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