No Court Delay For Fort Hood Suspect, Trial Date Set
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FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A military judge Tuesday refused a three-month trial delay for the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage. The judge, Col. Tara Osborn, also set jury selection to begin on July 9.
Testimony will start Auguse 6 at the earliest.
Maj. Nidal Hasan made the request for a delay earlier this month after being granted permission to represent himself at the court-martial. Hasan said he needed more time to prepare for his “defense of others” strategy, which must show that a killing was necessary to prevent the immediate harm or death of others.
Last week Osborn said that defense strategy failed as a matter of law, barring Hasan from telling jurors that he shot U.S. troops because they posed an immediate threat to Taliban leaders in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Hasan told the judge that he no longer needed more time to prepare, although Osborn said she would give him some additional time. Jury selection might be put on hold briefly if a jury consultant hired for Hasan’s defense has to work on another case for a week. Right now he’s scheduled to be working on another trial in mid-July.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted in the attack that left 13 dead on the Texas Army post.
Jury selection was set to begin in late May, then was tentatively moved to early June. It’s been on hold as various matters have remained unresolved.
When the trial gets underway it is expected to take months and include testimony from hundreds of witnesses.
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