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UPDATE: Soldier sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting

UPDATED Wednesday, August 28, 2013 --- 2:03 p.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A military jury has sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death for killing 13 people during the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.

Hasan never denied being the gunman and has said the attack on unarmed soldiers was motivated by a desire to protect Muslim insurgents fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Because he did not dispute the allegations, the trial has been primarily a pursuit of the death penalty.

The same jury that sentenced him to death Wednesday also found him guilty last week in the attack, which also wounded more than 30 people at the Texas military base.

Military prosecutors believed that any sentence short of death would deny.

Before an execution date is set, the sentence will face years, if not decades, of appeals.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 28, 2013 --- 11:17 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- Military jurors who convicted Maj. Nidal Hasan for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood are now deciding whether to sentence him to death.

Jurors began deciding Wednesday whether to hand down a rare military death sentence against Maj. Nidal Hasan or sentence him to life in prison.

The same jury convicted Hasan last week of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others at the Texas military base.

Hasan represented himself at trial. But he didn't call witnesses or testify, and he questioned only three of prosecutors' nearly 90 witnesses.

But through media leaks and statements to the judge, the American-born Muslim signaled that he believed the attack was justified as a way to protect Islamic and Taliban leaders from U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 21, 2013 --- 9:44 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A military judge has adjourned the Fort Hood trial for the day after the soldier accused in the shooting called no witnesses and rested his case.

Col. Tara Osborn said Wednesday the trial would resume on Thursday morning. She asked prosecutors if they were ready to present closing arguments on Wednesday, but they said they would prefer to wait until Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday morning, Maj. Nidal Hasan told Osborn he wouldn't be calling any witnesses in his defense. Hasan is representing himself in his trial.

Hasan has sat mostly silent during the trial's first two weeks, raising few objections and briefly questioning only three of prosecutors' nearly 90 witnesses.

Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at the Texas military base. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 21, 2013 --- 9:18 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- The soldier on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood has rested his case without calling any witnesses.

Maj. Nidal Hasan is representing himself but told the judge Wednesday that he wouldn't be calling any witnesses in his defense.

Hasan has sat mostly silent during the trial's first two weeks, raising few objections and briefly questioning only three of prosecutors' nearly 90 witnesses.

During his brief opening statement, he said evidence would show he was the shooter, and he said he'd "switched sides."

The American-born Muslim suggested before trial that he wanted to argue the killings were in defense of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. A judge rejected that strategy.

Hasan is accused of killing 13 people at the Texas military base. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, August 19, 2013 --- 10:44 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- The judge overseeing the Fort Hood shooting trial has blocked prosecutors from using several witnesses and most evidence they'd sought to explain the motive behind the 2009 attack.

Col. Tara Osborn made the ruling Monday during the military trial of Maj. Nidal Hasan. He's accused of killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others at the Texas military base.

Osborn told prosecutors they couldn't reference Hasan Akbar, a Muslim soldier sentenced to death for attacking fellow soldiers in Kuwait during the 2003 Iraq invasion. Prosecutors wanted to suggest a copycat attack.

Prosecutors also can't cite Hasan's interest years ago in conscientious objector status and his past academic presentations. Osborn says it's too old.

Osborn is allowing evidence about Internet searches on Hasan's computer around the time of the attack.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, August 8, 2013 --- 10:06 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A military judge has resumed the Fort Hood shooting trial despite demands from the suspect's standby attorneys that they be removed from the case.

The lawyers have been helping Maj. Nidal Hasan represent himself during the trial at the Texas military base.

They asked to over his defense on Wednesday, saying Hasan appeared to be trying to convince jurors to convict him and sentence him to death.

The judge denied their request Thursday. The standby attorneys said they would appeal, saying the judge was forcing them to violate professional rules of conduct.

The judge briefly recessed but later resumed the trial, telling the lawyers to resume their roles.

Hasan is facing 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. If convicted, he'd face the death penalty.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, August 8, 2013 --- 9:40 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- Defense attorneys helping the Fort Hood shooting suspect are demanding they be removed from the trial, saying the judge is forcing them to violate professional rules of conduct.

The lawyers have been helping Maj. Nidal Hasan represent himself during the trial. They asked to take over his defense on Wednesday, saying Hasan appeared to be trying to convince jurors to convict him and sentence him to death.

But the judge sided with Hasan on Thursday, saying it's clear the standby attorneys simply disagree with Hasan's defense strategy.

That prompted the standby attorneys to say they would appeal the judge's ruling. The judge recessed the trial.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, August 8, 2013 --- 9:23 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A military judge says the soldier on trial for the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage can continue to represent himself.

Defense lawyers who have been helping Maj. Nidal Hasan had asked the judge on Wednesday to let them take over the case. They said Hasan appeared to be trying to convince jurors to convict him and sentence him to death.

But the judge sided with Hasan on Thursday, saying it's clear the standby attorneys simply disagree with Hasan's defense strategy.

The judge also ordered the attorneys to continue in their role aiding Hasan.

Hasan has said little since the trial began Tuesday. He told jurors he was responsible for the attack that killed 13 people on the Texas military base. He's questioned only two of the dozen witnesses so far.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 7, 2013 --- 10:59 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- The standby attorney for the Army psychiatrist accused in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting has told a military judge that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan appears intent on receiving a death sentence.

Lt. Col. Kris Poppe said Wednesday at Hasan's trial that he is willing to step in and be Hasan's attorney. But if Hasan continues to work toward being executed, Poppe asked that his responsibilities be minimized.

Hasan then told the judge he objected, saying: "That's a twist of the facts."

Judge Col. Tara Osborn cleared the courtroom and recessed for the day. The trial will resume Thursday.

Hasan is representing himself but has attorneys on standby if needed. On Monday, he told the court that the evidence presented during the trial would "clearly show" he was the shooter.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 6, 2013 --- 4:53 p.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- The long-awaited first day in the trial of the soldier accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009 has ended with new details from prosecutors but little word from the defendant.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan could face the death penalty if convicted of the numerous murder and attempted murder charges he's facing for the attack on the sprawling Texas base. It remains the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation.

Prosecutors detailed what they said was Hasan's meticulous plan to kill fellow soldiers while avoiding civilians, including stockpiling bullets and researching jihad online.

Hasan is representing himself and told jurors that evidence would show he was the gunman. He declined to cross-examine most witnesses, including victims who survived.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, August 6, 2013 --- 12:26 p.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- A prosecutor in Texas has told jurors that the Army psychiatrist accused in the Fort Hood shooting rampage thoroughly planned the attack.

In opening statements today, the prosecutor said Maj. Nidal Hasan had stockpiled bullets, spent time at a shooting range and purchased a pistol and extender kit to hold more ammunition. He says Hasan then tried to "kill as many soldiers as he could."

According to the prosecutor, Hasan set out to target only his fellow soldiers and tried to clear the area of civilians before opening fire. He said Hasan shot at only one civilian, someone who had tried to stop him.

In his own opening statement, Hasan said the evidence would show he was the shooter -- and that he was among "imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion." He said, "I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor."

Hasan doesn't deny killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a November 2009 rampage on the Texas base. He had wanted to argue that he shot U.S. troops to protect Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. But the judge barred the American-born Muslim from using that defense.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013 --- 11:08 a.m.

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- The Army psychiatrist who faces the death penalty for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood has told jurors that "the evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter."

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan on Tuesday began his court martial with opening statements that lasted less than two minutes. He told jurors: "The evidence presented during the trial will only show one side."

The 42-year-old Hasan had wanted to argue that he shot U.S. troops to protect Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. But the judge forbade the American-born Muslim from using that defense.

Hasan was shot in the back during the rampage and was paralyzed from the waist down.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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