FORT HOOD — The 42-year-old Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood shooting will be back in court today after being dealt a blow Friday when a judge refused to allow his proposed defense strategy.
Fort Hood officials did not say what will be undertaken at Maj. Nidal Hasan’s hearing in a Fort Hood courtroom. Pending issues before the court include Hasan’s request for a three-month delay to the start of trial and motions from his standby counsel to be removed from the case.
Military experts have said Hasan’s request for a delay was undermined when presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn refused to allow the court to hear evidence that Hasan was protecting the Taliban when he allegedly killed 13 and wounded 32 on Nov. 5, 2009.
“The judge is clearly deciding to move this process forward,” said Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law. “Unless he has a real good, new reason, I don’t think he will have an argument.”
A delay could arise if the judge releases Hasan’s standby counsel from the case. Any new attorneys would need some time to prepare for the case. Hasan also could hire a civilian attorney at any time, Addicott said.
Hasan could face execution if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder. Jury selection for his trial had been set to begin in late May.
The start of the trial has remained in flux since the judge granted Hasan’s request to represent himself.
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