• December 29, 2014

Fort Hood trial cost government about $5 million

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Posted: Sunday, October 6, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

FORT WORTH — The U.S. government spent nearly $5 million to court-martial and convict an Army psychiatrist in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage, according to records reviewed by a North Texas television station.

The biggest pretrial expense in Maj. Nidal Hasan’s trial was more than $1 million for transportation for witnesses, jurors and attorneys, according to Army records obtained by KXAS-TV of Fort Worth and Dallas. About $900,000 was spent on their accommodations.

Hasan was convicted in August of killing 13 people during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting. More than 30 people were wounded.

The records also show that in the months before his trial, Army helicopters ferried Hasan 40 miles from the Bell County Jail to Fort Hood at a cost of more than $194,000 so he could work on his defense in his private office — one of the trailers the Army set up for the trial at a cost of more than $200,000.

In the past, Army officials have said the helicopter rides were needed to protect Hasan and his team from threats.

Hasan was not allowed to plead guilty to the charges under a military law regarding cases that could bring the death penalty.

He served as his own defense attorney, called no witnesses and asked few questions.

More than $1 million was spent on transportation for witnesses, jurors and lawyers, with another $1 million put toward expert witness fees and $90,000 on lodging for them all, the records showed.

Hasan also remained on the Army payroll until 10 days after his conviction, collecting nearly $300,000. Most was donated to charity, Hasan’s civil attorney, John Galligan, told The Associated Press.

The expenditures outraged many of Hasan’s victims and their relatives. Some victims struggled to find jobs or pay medical bills since Hasan opened fire inside a crowded building on the Central Texas military base.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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