Tuesday, August 6, 2013
A military prosecutor says an Army psychiatrist accused of the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation planned to "kill as many soldiers as he could."
The trial of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan began Tuesday under heavy security at Fort Hood. The 42-year-old Hasan doesn't deny killing 13 people and wound 32 others in a November 2009 rampage on the Texas base.
Prosecutor Col. Steve Henricks told a jury of 13 military officers the prosecution will show them that Hasan picked the date of the attack for a reason.
Hasan is representing himself. Even though Hasan doesn't dispute the charges, military law barred him from pleading guilty because he faces the death penalty if convicted.
After years of delays, the trial of the man who carried out the Fort Hood shooting seems likely to unfold as a faceoff between the gunman and his victims.
Starting Tuesday, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will represent himself at a court-martial charging him with murder and attempted murder for the 2009 attack that left 13 people dead. Over the next several weeks, he is expected to deliver an opening statement, to question witnesses and possibly present his own evidence.
On the witness stand will be many of the more than 30 people who were wounded, plus dozens of other witnesses.
The Army psychiatrist has never denied carrying out the attack. But questions abound about how the trial will play out: How will Hasan question his victims? How will they respond?