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Tucson shooting trial may move to San Diego

Investigators are looking into whether Jared Loughner, 22, was part of an online anti-government organization.
Investigators are looking into whether Jared Loughner, 22, was part of an online anti-government organization.Mamta Popat / AP photo/Arizona Daily Star
/ Source: news services

Federal authorities plan to move the trial of alleged gunman Jared Loughner to San Diego because of pre-trial publicity in Arizona.

The Washington Post said a final decision has yet to be made, but the decision to move the trial to San Diego, is 'just a matter of time,' according to federal law enforcement sources.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, 40, was struck in the head by a single bullet Jan. 8 during a shooting rampage that injured 13 people, including the congresswoman, and killed six.

The venue change emerged as more details about how the organs of the youngest fatality, 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, helped others.

There is already a strong San Diego connection to the case, NBC station KNSD said.

Local defense attorney Judy Clarke, has been chosen to represent Loughner.

San Diego-based federal judge Larry Burns has been appointed the case after all the Arizona federal judges recused themselves because one of the rampage's fatalities was John Roll, Arizona's chief federal judge.

The new chief judge, Roslyn Silver, will make the final decision about any venue change.

Giffords was recovering well from a pair of weekend surgeries to remove a breathing tube from her nose and the repair her right eye socket, doctors said on Monday, a day after they upgraded her condition from critical to serious.

The suspect in the shooting, 22-year-old Jared Loughner, remained jailed in a federal lockup in Phoenix. Investigators have described him as a mentally unstable man who was kicked out a community college last year and became increasingly erratic in recent months.

He apparently became obsessed with inflicting violence on Giffords since attending one of her campaign events in 2007.

In  other developments Monday:

Organ donation details: Christina Taylor Green's donated corneas saved the eyesight of two children, her father told The Associated Press Monday. John Green said the Donor Network of Arizona told him and his wife about the successful transplants. He said he doesn't know whether any of Christina's other organs have gone to any other children, but he's under the impression that her wounds rendered her internal organs unusable.

"The fact that her organs were able to help people, that was an amazing thing to me," he said. "It's just another thing that this little girl has given the world."

The Donor Network of Arizona declined to comment on any donation, citing confidentiality.

Willing to meet: Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, said he would be willing to meet with Loughner's parents, who have remained in seclusion since the shooting. Kelly, who has two teenage daughters from a previous marriage, said the parents have to be in a tremendous amount of pain.

"I don't think it's their fault. It's not the parents fault," Kelly told ABC. "You know, I'd like to think I'm a person that's, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they've got to be hurting in this situation as much as much as anybody."