FORT HOOD (CBSDFW/AP) - Three days of pretrial hearings have been set for the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage – and new developments suggest that a guilty plea is again possible.
Col. Tara Osborn, the presiding judge in the case, set the hearings for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Central Texas Army post in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan.
Two requests by the defense suggest that Hasan could be considering a guilty plea. One is a request by the defense that the capital referral, the order allowing the death penalty, be set aside under the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution. The second is a request under UCMJ Article 45B, the article that specifically bars guilty please in death penalty cases.
Hasan faces the death penalty or life in military prison without parole if convicted in the 2009 rampage that killed 13 and wounded more than two dozen others on the Texas Army post. The trial date for the 42-year-old American-born Muslim officer has yet to be set.
Hasan also is charged with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
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