Loughner Case Autopsy Results Should be Kept Secret, U.S. Prosecutors Say

Prosecutors asked a judge to order medical examiners not to release autopsy results in the case of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in a Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Detailed information on the autopsies “could taint the jury pool,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Sue Feldmeier said in a motion filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

“This case has received extensive media coverage” and reports describing the victims’ physical trauma “may spawn prejudicial depictions of the decedents’ manner of death in the press,” Feldmeier wrote. Prosecutors are also seeking a gag order to prevent pathologist Eric D. Peters and his staff from talking to reporters, according to the filing.

Loughner, 22, pleaded not guilty to attempting to kill Giffords and two members of her staff. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said last month he hoped to begin a trial no later than Sept. 20.

The case is U.S. v. Loughner, 11-00187, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Tucson).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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