Accused LAX shooter expected to be moved to federal holding facility

The man accused in the deadly shooting rampage last fall at Los Angeles International Airport is likely to be moved soon from a county jail to a federal holding facility, his attorney said in court Monday.

Paul Anthony Ciancia entered a federal courtroom in downtown L.A. in handcuffs and stared straight ahead as his public defenders and federal prosecutors updated U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez on their progress in the case.


Ciancia, who turned 24 a little over a week ago, is being held without bail at a San Bernardino County jailhouse where he is receiving medical care. But public defender John Littrell told the court his client was expected to be moved to the federal facility in downtown L.A. this week or next.

Littrell said the move depended upon a "certain medical procedure" that he thought Ciancia had undergone, but did not elaborate. Ciancia appeared in court Monday without the bandage on his neck that he had previously been seen wearing.

Gutierrez ordered both parties back in court on Aug. 11 for another update. He has yet to set a trial date, having previously said he was waiting to learn whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Ciancia, a decision that will ultimately be made by Atty. Gen. Eric Holder.

Federal prosecutors said in court documents filed last week that they hoped to make their recommendation on that question to Holder by July. Officials have stressed that the decision involves a multistep process that takes months to complete.

Ciancia has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges -- including murder and attempted murder -- in connection with the Nov. 1 attack. Authorities allege he entered LAX's Terminal 3 and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing one Transportation Security Administration officer and wounding three other people.

Gerardo I. Hernandez, 39, was the first TSA officer killed in the since the agency was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Investigators said they found a note signed by Ciancia saying he wanted to kill TSA agents and "instill fear in their traitorous minds." Witnesses to the shooting said the gunman asked whether they worked for the TSA before moving on.

Ciancia was shot in the head and leg during a gun battle with airport police, and spent more than two weeks at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center before he was released into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

In the court documents filed last week, prosecutors said they had collected about 140 discs and 7,000 pages of reports, interviews, photographs and other records related to the case. Interviews with witnesses are continuing, they added.

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