Morning headlines: Tuesday, March 22, 2011
According to the Associated Press, an Arizona judge Monday ordered Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the January shooting rampage in Tucson, to undergo a mental evaluation at a Missouri facility. The exam will be conducted at the federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Springfield no later than April 29. The 22 year-old Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the January 8 shooting that killed six people and wounded 13, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The judged ordered the scope of the exam to be limited to whether Loughner is competent to stand trial, not whether he was sane at the time of the shooting. Defense lawyers have not said if they intend to present an insanity defense.
The chairwoman of the Missouri Conservation Commission says she is running for lieutenant governor in 2012. Becky Plattner announced her candidacy yesterday in Marshall, where she previously was the Saline County presiding commissioner. Plattner also campaigned to be the state's No. 2 executive in 2008, losing in the Democratic primary. The office may be open in 2012, because Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is expected to run for governor. The Marshall Democrat-News reports that Plattner cited her two terms in county government as providing her the experience to be lieutenant governor. She said she also has knowledge and experience in promoting agriculture, tourism, senior services and veterans' issues. Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, also is considering a run for lieutenant governor.
A St. Louis police officer has been implicated in taking and releasing a photo of a suspect killed in a shoot-out with law enforcement officials. Carlos Boles shot and killed a federal marshal, injured another marshal and a St. Louis police officer as they attempted to take him into custody on a warrant earlier this month. The officers returned fire and killed Boles. St. Louis Police said in a statement yesterday that a distasteful photo that was released of Boles' body came from an officer who was part of the SWAT team. Chief Dan Isom has ordered the officer off the SWAT team. The discipline the officer will face will be determined at the conclusion of an internal affairs investigation. The department has not released the officer's name.