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Pretrial Hearings Set In Fort Hood Shooting Case

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U.S. Army doctor Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is the lone suspect in the shooting death of 13 people and wounding of 31 others at Fort Hood in 2009. (credit: Bell Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

U.S. Army doctor Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is the lone suspect in the shooting death of 13 people and wounding of 31 others at Fort Hood in 2009. (credit: Bell Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

FORT HOOD (AP) - The new judge in the Fort Hood shooting case is to decide this week whether to spare Maj. Nidal Hasan a possible death sentence and let him plead guilty in the worst mass shooting on a U.S. military installation.

Pretrial hearings are scheduled Wednesday through Friday so the new military judge, Col. Tara Osborn, can reconsider several defense requests previously rejected by the former judge.

Defense attorneys say Hasan wants to plead guilty to 13 counts of premeditated murder in the 2009 attack on the Texas Army post. But military rules prohibit a judge from accepting a guilty plea in a death penalty case.

Without a death penalty option, the punishment is life without parole — which Hasan already faces if convicted of the 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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