Well, that clarifies things. Kind of, anyway.
Recently released court transcripts have shed some light on what, exactly, Jared Lee Loughner blurted out last month during a hearing on whether he was fit to stand trial for the Arizona shooting spree that killed six and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.
“Thank you for the free kill. She died in front of me. Your cheesiness,” Loughner said, according to an official transcript prepared by a court reporter who had access to an audio recording of the outburst, the Associated Press reports.
During the May 25 hearing, Loughner reportedly lowered his head, almost touching the table in front of him, and murmured something angrily. But reporters at the scene were unable to say conclusively what he said. The most widely reported speculation was: “Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me,” followed by either “you’re treasonous” or “you’re cheating us.”
While the official transcript will serve as the final word as far as court records go, some reporters aren’t ready to admit defeat—particularly when it comes to the "cheesiness" line.
The Arizona Daily Star’s Tim Steller gives his take:
I was in the courtroom that day, and I can accept the first sentence, "Thank you for the free kill." In fact, that's what a court officer seated near Loughner told me he heard, though I eventually went with "Thank you for the freak show." ...
But "Your cheesiness"? Sorry, I can't believe that one.
What I heard was "You're treasonous!" and I was sure of what I heard, both because I heard it clearly and because it makes sense in the context of Loughner's writings and video ramblings.
After his outburst, Loughner was led out of the courtroom, where he watched the rest of the hearing on a TV screen in a separate room.
Ultimately, the judge deemed him mentally incompetent and sent up to a federal prison facility in hopes that his mental state will improve enough to stand trial.