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.
A deputy U.S. marshal shot in the head while trying to arrest a fugitive early Tuesday morning has died. The U.S. Marshals Service in Washington, D.C. says 48-year-old John Perry died at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Saint Louis University Hospital. He had been with the U.S. Marshals for almost 10 years. Authorities say the suspect, Carlos Boles, shot Perry and a second U.S. marshal and a St. Louis police officer as they were trying to arrest Boles on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer and drug possession. Boles was killed in the exchange. U.S. deputy marshal Theodore Abegg was shot in the ankle and as of last night was listed in fair condition at SLU. The St. Louis police officer was hit in his protective vest and received a grazing wound to the face. He was treated at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and released.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn reportedly plans to sign a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state. The two sponsors of the bill say Quinn's staff told them he intends to sign it at a ceremony today. State Rep. Karen Yarbrough and state Sen. Kwame Raoul told The Associated Press on Tuesday that they have been invited to the bill signing in Quinn's Springfield office. Quinn's office declined to comment about his intentions. The new law would take effect July 1. Former Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions in Illinois in 2000 after the death sentences of 13 men were overturned. Ryan cleared death row before leaving office in 2003.
A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April. Tom Bauer defeated the current 24th Ward incumbent, Bill Waterhouse. Bauer will face an independent candidate in April. The three other incumbents facing primary challenges all won. In the south side’s 20th ward, Alderman Craig Schmid beat Shannon McGinn. Sixth Ward Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett beat out criminal defense attorney Brad Kessler to continue representing Lafayette Square and Downtown West. And in the St. Louis Hills’ Ward 15, incumbent Donna Baringer beat out former Circuit Clerk Mariano Favazza. As expected, voter turnout was low with less than 7 percent of the city’s registered voters casting a ballot.
Two U.S. marshals and one St. Louis police officer were shot while attempting to make an arrest in the 3100 block of Osage in south St. Louis City. St. Louis police have confirmed that the suspect has died following a stand-off that began shortly before 7 a.m. The 2 marshals were taken to St. Louis University hospital where one is in critical condition and one is in fair condition, according to a hospital spokesperson. The St. Louis police officer was hit in the vest and suffered a graze wound.