Accused Tucson Shooter Jared Loughner Smirks in Court, Smiles for Mug Shot

Photo: Jared Loughner
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Jared Loughner, the man accused of the Tucson massacre that left six dead and injured 14 others, appeared in a packed courtroom today shackled and in khaki prison garb, appearing to smirk as he stood before the judge.

Federal officials released Loughner's mug shot, showing him smiling into the camera despite hints of a black eye.

"Yes, I am Jared Lee Loughner," said Loughner, with a freshly shaved head, when the Judge Lawrence Anderson asked him to confirm his identity.

Holding up a financial affidavit, Anderson asked the Loughner, "I can't read your signature. I know how hard it is to sign with handcuffs on. Did you sign this?"

Loughner, with a fresh bruise on the side of his head, leaned forward to look at the paper and responded, ""Yes I signed it. Mrs. Clarke did help me out." Mrs. Clarke refers to his court appointed public defender, Judy Clarke.

Every federal judge in the southern district of Arizona recused themselves from the case because one of Loughran's alleged victims was federal judge John Roll.

Clarke said that she objects to "further proceedings in Arizona" on behalf of Loughner, but did not object to her client being remanded without bail. The judge told the courtroom that Loughner was a "danger to the community" before saying, "Good to you" and adjourning the session.

About 80 reporters and 25 federal marshalls packed the courtroom, which appeared to be void of any of Loughner's relatives.

Loughner's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 24.

PHOTOS: Jared Lee Loughner

This is the first time Loughner has said anything since Saturday's shooting. Investigators said that Loughner had refused to speak to them since his arrest.

Loughner so far faces five federal charges, one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the United States and two counts of intent to kill employees of the United States.

If convicted of murdering either of the federal employees, Loughner could be sentenced to death or be given life in prison.

President Obama led a moment of silence at 11 a.m. today and he has ordered that the country's flags be lowered to half staff in honor of the tragedy.

Among the injured is Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of alleged gunman Jared Loughner's shooting rampage. Giffords remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma and with part of her skull removed to ease pressure on her brain.

Giffords in Critical Condition

"There has been no change, and no change is good," said Dr. Michael Lemole, who has been treating Giffords. "She is still following those basic commands and the CAT scans are showing there is no progression of swelling. But we are not out of the woods yet."

"Every day that goes by and we don't see an increase in swelling we're slightly more optimistic," said Lemole.

A major concern of the doctors has been to prevent any damage due to swelling of the injured brain.

"Swelling typically peaks around the third day… We can breathe a collective sigh of relief around the third or fourth day. We're getting close," he said.

At the Tucson airport Monday, travelers were invited to share in the moment of silence, a ticketing agent saying, "Miss Giffords travels with us all the time. We will miss her for a while."

Loughner is scheduled to appear in court today, but so far officials say he is refusing to cooperate or speak with investigators.

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