PHOENIX - Jared Lee Loughner, head shaved, a cut on his right temple and his hands cuffed, stared vacantly at a packed courtroom on Monday and sat down. His attorney, who defended "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, whispered to him.
It was the nation's first look at the 22-year-old loner accused of trying to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The three-term Democrat lay about a 100 miles away in the intensive care unit of University Medical Center, gravely wounded after being shot through the head but able to give a thumbs-up sign that doctors found as a reason to hope.
Loughner seemed impassive and at one point stood at a lectern in his beige prison jumpsuit. A U.S. marshal stood guard nearby.
The judge asked if he understood that he could get life in prison - or the death penalty - for killing federal Judge John Roll, one of six who died in the shooting rampage at Giffords' outdoor meeting with constituents on Saturday at a Safeway on Tucson's northwest side.
"Yes," he said. His newly appointed lawyer, Judy Clarke, stood beside him as the judge ordered Loughner held without bail. Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. Those are federal charges.
Throngs of reporters and television news crews lined up outside the federal courthouse, where the hearing was moved from Tucson. The entire federal bench there recused itself because Roll was the chief judge.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department on Monday afternoon released a photograph of Loughner taken at headquarters the day of the shooting. It shows Loughner staring straight into the camera, a smug look on his face.
State prosecutors, meanwhile, are researching whether they have to wait until after the federal case is resolved, or if they can proceed with local charges at the same time, an official said.