By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
The Article 32 hearing for accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was delayed again Tuesday morning on a late motion by the defense.
Hasan, his defense team and the Army's prosecutors have appeared for several hearings since June 1 to discuss a variety of issues, including a request by the defense that media and the public be banned from the courtroom. That request was denied in mid-September by the officer presiding over this portion of the case, Col. James Pohl.
Tuesday's hearing was intended to be the first time testimony was offered. The delay was granted until 9 a.m. today on the defense request, citing "Due process because of the broader issue."
The defense initially requested a delay until Nov. 8 to allow time to "process paperwork."
The Article 32 is scheduled to run from today through Oct. 29. Pohl said on Sept. 16 that no testimony would be taken from Nov. 3 to 8 so the hearing wouldn't coincide with one-year anniversary observances.
The Article 32 will re-start on Nov. 8 and go through Nov. 18. If needed, the hearing will again reconvene Dec. 1, according to information from Fort Hood.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was charged in November 2009 with 13 counts of premeditated murder. In December of that year he was also charged with 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in connection with the Nov. 5 shooting at Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center.
Hasan was shot by Fort Hood civilian police officers during the incident and is paralyzed from the chest down. He has been housed in an infirmary cell in the Bell County Jail since mid-April. He received care at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from November through April.
The Article 32 start date was changed twice in the last year at the defense's request. It was originally scheduled to begin March 1, but it was moved to June 1. That date was pushed forward four months during a June 1 hearing - Hasan's first appearance in court. That was later changed to Tuesday to ensure witness travel and other funding was not affected by the beginning of the federal government's new fiscal year on Oct. 1, Fort Hood officials said..
Three medical professionals visited the jail Thursday morning to assess Hasan's mental state to determine whether he was competent to stand trial, but they walked away empty-handed.
Hasan's attorney, retired Col. John Galligan, stopped the proceedings and turned the board away, saying the officer who leads the case at its current level - the Special Court-Martial Convening Authority - delayed the mental evaluation until after the Article 32 hearing.