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Accused Los Angeles airport gunman to be moved to federal detention

Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the FBI. REUTERS/FBI/Handout via Reuters
Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the FBI. REUTERS/FBI/Handout via Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The man accused of killing one security officer at Los Angeles International Airport in November will be moved to a federal detention center after finishing treatment from injuries suffered in a shootout with police, a judge ruled on Monday.

Prosecutors say Paul Anthony Ciancia, 23, walked into an airport terminal and used a semi-automatic rifle to kill a U.S. security screener and wound three people. He is charged with murder and attempted murder.

Ciancia, who was wounded by gunfire when police at the airport stopped him, sat stoically with his hands in his lap during the brief federal court hearing and, unlike in previous appearances, he did not have a bandage around his neck.

Ciancia's lawyer, John Littrell, said he believed the move from a treatment facility at a San Bernardino County jail to the federal detention center in downtown Los Angeles will likely happen by the end of next week.

U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez agreed with the plan and said he expected it would make it easier for Ciancia's lawyers to meet with their client.

Federal prosecutors last week said in a court document that they will send a recommendation to Attorney General Eric Holder by July 3 about whether to seek the death penalty for Ciancia.

Littrell on Monday requested more time to fight any possible death penalty recommendation, and the judge agreed the timeline from prosecutors was "pretty tight."

Ciancia is scheduled to appear in court on August 11. Aside from murder and attempted murder charges, he also faces a charge of committing violence at an international airport and several counts of firearms offenses.

The Transportation Security Administration screening agent killed in the attack, Gerardo Hernandez, was the first agent slain in the line of duty since the agency was created in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

(Reporting by Dana Feldman, writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by G Crosse)

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