Court mulls whether to send Loughner to Missouri

By JACQUES BILLEAUD | October 6, 2011 | 6:10 PM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) — An appeals court is considering whether to keep the Tucson shooting rampage suspect in Arizona while his attorneys contest a decision to send him to a Missouri prison where experts will try to make him mentally fit to stand trial.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had earlier ordered that Jared Lee Loughner be kept temporarily in Tucson after he attended a court hearing in Arizona last week over his mental health.

The appeals court held a hearing in San Francisco on Thursday to decide whether Loughner will be housed in Tucson on a longer basis, but by mid-afternoon it hadn't made a decision on that question.

Loughner pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shooting that killed six people and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.