PHOENIX (AP) – State and federal prosecutors agreed that the suspect in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others will be tried first in federal court before any prosecution begins on state charges.
The agreement reached in the case of suspect Jared Loughner was announced Friday by Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall and Dennis Burke, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona.
In a written statement, the prosecutors say federal law requires all state prosecutions to be suspended while a federal case is pending.
Loughner pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to assassinate Giffords and kill two of her aides.
He will likely face state charges in the attack and federal murder charges for the deaths of Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman and U.S. District Judge John Roll.