• December 29, 2014

Government rests case against Hasan

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Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 9:56 am | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

FORT HOOD —The government rested its case today in the court-martial of Maj. Nidal Hasan, the former Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people and injuring more than 30 at Fort Hood in 2009.

Prosecutors concluded their case just after noon.

Earlier today, the court heard testimony from a former colleague of Hasan's, who said that less than three weeks before he carried out a mass shooting, Hasan told her the Army would pay if it deployed him to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Dr. Tonya Kozminski, a colleague of Hasan's at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, said it was the last thing Hasan said to her.

"The last thing he said to me is 'They will pay,'" Kozminski told the court.

She said Hasan's comment came after a particularly rough day at the hospital. Kozminski said she couldn't remember whether Hasan referenced deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan, but said "They will pay," after mentioning deployment. 

Government prosecutors will rest its case today, calling their final five witnesses in the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Hasan has indicated he will not call any witnesses, telling the judge he objected to the court forcing the sole person on his witness to travel to Texas.

Presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn said she wanted Hasan to meet with the witness, a theology professor, prior to making any final decision.

It appears former Fort Hood police Sgt. Mark Todd, who shot Hasan during the shooting, will not testify. Osborn will conduct a hearing out of the jury's presence where Hasan and prosecutors will stipulate to Todd's testimony, basing it on 2010 testimony during the major's Article 32 hearing.

Hasan could face the death penalty if found guilty. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. He has admitted to carrying out the Nov. 5, 2009, mass shooting on post.

Copperas Cove resident Steven Bennett was the first witness to testify today. Bennett was taking pictures at a graduation ceremony near the site of the shooting when he heard gunshots.

Bennett described a chaotic scene with soldiers running away from the sounds of gunshots and cars speeding over curbs.

He saw a person whose behavior seemed "unnatural" and began taking photos. Eventually he approached the individual and saw a weapon.

"He told me it was a paintball gun and it was a training exercise," Bennett said the man was later identified as Hasan.

Hasan walked away, but Bennett continued to take pictures. The prosecution entered several photos as evidence.

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