Jared Loughner, the man who killed six and wounded 13 in an Arizona shooting spree, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday. Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords attended the hearing, but did not speak.
A former congresswoman badly wounded in a shooting rampage two years ago came face to face with her attacker as he was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentence plus 140 years in prison for killing six people and wounding 13.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, partially blind, her right arm paralyzed and limp, attended the Thursday sentencing, standing beside her husband as he spoke of her struggles to recover from being shot in the head.
Jared Lee Loughner, 24, pleaded guilty under an agreement that guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. He avoids a federal death sentence, although state prosecutors could still decide to try him.
"Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered," said astronaut Mark Kelly, both he and his wife staring at the shooter inside a packed courtroom. "Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she once was so good at."
One by one, survivors of the attack at a Giffords political event approached the courtroom podium to address Loughner, each turning toward him where he sat stoic and emotionless at a table with his attorneys.
"You took away my life, my love and my reason for living," said Mavanell Stoddard, who was shot three times and cradled her dying husband in her arms as he lay bleeding on the sidewalk after shielding her from the spray of bullets.
Susan Hileman, who was shot, spoke to him, at times visibly shaking.
"We've been told about your demons, about the illness that skewed your thinking," she said. "Your parents, your schools, your community, they all failed you.
"It's all true," Hileman said. "It's not enough."
"You pointed a weapon and shot me three times," she said, staring directly at Loughner. He looked back at her. "And now I will walk out of this courtroom and into the rest of my life and I won't think of you again."
Loughner's parents sat nearby, his mother sobbing.