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Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea For Fort Hood Suspect

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FORT HOOD (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A military judge has entered a not-guilty plea for the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage.

Maj. Nidal Hasan refused to enter a plea Tuesday. The American-born Muslim said he earlier tried to plead guilty after his “Muslim community” told him his actions went against Islamic teachings. But he said he later came to believe his actions weren’t wrong because of the war in Afghanistan.

Hasan, 42, faces execution or life without parole if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the massacre on the Texas Army post.

Under military law, a death penalty case requires a plea of not guilty.

Jury selection is set to start July 9, with testimony to start in August. The trial is expected to take several months and involved the testimony of more than 200 witnesses.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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