A judge has appointed a San Diego psychiatrist to conduct a mental competency exam for the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
U.S. District Judge Larry Burns on Friday appointed Dr. Matthew Carroll, of San Diego, to conduct the exam of 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner at a Missouri facility.
In March, a judge ordered Loughner to undergo a mental evaluation at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, he arrived at the center just days later.
Burns wrote that he appointed Carroll over concerns by defense attorneys about the impartiality of Bureau of Prisons psychiatrists who were to conduct the exam.
Carroll must conduct the exam by April 29 and report all his findings no later than May 11.
Loughner's competency hearing is scheduled for May 25.
Loughner has pleaded not guilty to 49 federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8 attack in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13.
In March Judge Burns filed court records saying he was mistaken in allowing Loughner to seek an independent competency exam in addition to the court-appointed exam taking place in Missouri.Burns said he made the mistake in trying to accommodate concerns from Loughner's attorneys about the impartiality of the Bureau of Prisons professionals conducting the exam.
Burns proposed appointing a psychiatrist for the second exam who has no affiliation with the Bureau of Prisons, that psychiatrist is Dr. Matthew Carroll.The psychological evaluations will test Loughner to determine if he understands the nature and consequences of the charges he faces and can assist in his defense.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)