Victim faces down Jared Loughner in court

Jared Loughner pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to 49 charges stemming from the Tucson shooting rampage that left 6 dead and 13 wounded, including Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords.

Susan Hileman was one of the victims who came to court facing, for the first time, the man accused of shooting her.

CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reported Susan, still recovering from three bullet wounds, was in a wheelchair in the Tucson courtroom's front row. She gripped her husband's hand and seemed near tears when Loughner first entered.

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On the day of the shooting, Hileman brought her 9-year-old neighbor, Christina Taylor Green, to Giffords' event to meet the congresswoman. Christina was killed in the attack.

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On "The Early Show" Thursday, Heilman's husbanld, Bill Hileman, spoke about their courtroom ordeal.

Why did they attend?

Bill said, "We just thought we should be representing both our town and the other victims who couldn't make it. I think more so, though, Suzy's been made aware that she will be a witness, both in the federal and the state cases, once that's brought later on. And as much as anything, we wanted to desensitize her to being in the same room with Loughner. We knew that that would be an emotional issue for all of us, and thought we could do it more just passively watching, it would be a good way to get used to the environment and just being in the same space with him."

Blackstone reported on "The Early Show" Loughner walked into the courtroom Wednesday with a new look: short dark hair and long sideburns. Also, the shaved head of his unsettling booking photo is gone. But he was still grinning.

Blackstone said Loughner smiled frequently for no particular reason.

Blackstone remarked, "It was impossible to know whether he truly understood what was happening."

Prosecutors requested that he undergo a psychiatric examination, saying Loughner's YouTube videos show Loughner has "severe mental issues."

Judge Larry Burns said his own observation of the defendant raised questions about his mental state. He ordered Loughner be examined psychiatrists to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Co-anchor Erica Hill asked Bill what it was like to see Loughner smile.

Bill said, "I'm sure we all have our own subjective reactions to it. As a husband of someone who was hurt, I admit to having all kinds of emotional reactions to the fact of him, and being in the same space with him. I think the reason that there were a lot of U.S. Marshals there was probably to protect all of us from some of our baser instincts yesterday. It's very strange being in the same room. But for me personally, it was good to, again, recognize that this is just a fairly small, insignificant guy who at this point is really no threat to anybody. And seeing his comments and the way he behaved yesterday did a lot to demystify anything about him that may have been -- we may have been conjuring in our minds."

Hill noted, "You told me once not long after this happened that you were kind of surprised that at one point you realized that you weren't even really thinking about him."

Bill responded, "I've gotten together early with Mark Kelly (Giffords' husband) and John Green (Christina Green's father) and I and all of us were comparing notes on a variety of aspects of this thing. And we did, at the time, realize that none of us were giving any mind space to the shooter."

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He added, "I think with the legal proceedings getting started, we're now at a new chapter there, and it was time to confront the fact of him a little more directly, which is what we were intending to do yesterday. And I think we came away from that experience very comfortable, that we will have no problem with Suzy's ongoing role in the legal proceedings."

Hill asked Bill about the chance that Loughner could be found not fit for trial. How would that affect him?

"It wouldn't bother me to the extent I don't believe that would likely be a permanent situation," he said. "I know that if that were to occur, he can be rehabbed so that the trial could take place later. It's just a matter of patience."

Hill asked Bill about the community of Tucson and its state two months following the shooting.

Bill said the area is "A-plus."

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"There are any number of causes that have sprung up in Christina's name and that of the other victims to try to memorialize them in a positive way," he said. "There was a park just dedicated a week before to Christina's name locally here in our neighborhood. (It) drew about 250 people and was just a wonderful chance for us all to gather and yet again share the feelings of this event. I know we continue to be supported with dinner being delivered every night by neighbors. And we're getting housework done for free and yard work done for free. And the mails and the e-mail and the mail keep pouring in. The support remains absolutely phenomenal in our community."

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