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Life in prison without parole for Loughner

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jared Loughner shot and killed 6 during event at a Tucson supermarket
  • U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during Loughner's killing spree
  • Giffords' husband gave an emotional speech at Loughner's sentencing Tuesday
Jared Loughner was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole for a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona.

Watch: Gabby Giffords' emotional goodbye

Watch: Gabby Giffords' emotional goodbye

Gabrielle Giffords' full Pledge of Allegiance

Gabrielle Giffords' full Pledge of Allegiance

Jared Loughner was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole for the attempted assassination of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.

READ MORE: Loughner's plea deal

Loughner walked up to Giffords and shot her in the head during one of her meet-and-greet events with constituents outside of a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona.  During the shooting spree, Loughner killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords.

"The evidence clearly shows that he knew what he was doing, despite his mental illness," said Judge Larry Burns as he handed down Loughner's sentence.

Giffords attended Loughner’s sentencing Tuesday with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly. A court official said a least 10 victims of the shooting also attended the sentencing.

Kelly gave a victim impact statement during the sentencing. Judges consider victim's statements when sentencing defendants.

“Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you did not put a dent in her spirit,” said Kelly. 

Giffords stood at the podium next to Kelly as he gave his statement. Kelly also said that Loughner tried to extinguish the beauty of her life but failed.

Rep. Ron Barber, who was also wounded by Loughner and now holds Giffords' old congressional seat, also spoke at Loughner’s sentencing.

“Now you must pay the price of the terror, violence, and injuries you caused,” said Barber.

Giffords stepped down from her seat in Congress in January 2012 to concentrate on her recovery. Despite being severely wounded, Giffords has regained her ability to walk and talk, but her right side remains weak. 

On Thursday, Kelly said that Giffords still struggles to speak, and is partially blind.

Prosecutors say they agreed to the plea deal that allows Loughner to avoid trial and the death penalty because of his history of mental illness and the views of victims and their families.

In August, Burns ruled Loughner was competent to stand trial. 

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