FORT HOOD — The former Fort Hood police officer who critically wounded the alleged Fort Hood shooter, ending the mass shooting, will be required to testify despite a medical condition that prevents him from speaking.
The presiding judge, Col. Tara Osborn, ruled that Mark Todd will be able to testify through other means, possibly by typing or writing answers to questions.
Todd could prove to be an important witness in the case against Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army officer charged with killing 13 and wounding 32 during a Nov. 5, 2009, shooting spree on post.
Todd and another former Fort Hood police officer, Kimberly Munley, engaged in a gunfight with Hasan that ultimately left the Army psychiatrist paralyzed from the chest down.
Despite seemingly prevailing in the ruling, Hasan told the court he objected to the court requiring Todd's testimony, telling the court he did not want to put Todd through what the former police officer may "perceive as a humiliating event."
Osborn said if both sides can agree to a stipulation of what Todd's testimony would be, she may allow the trial to proceed without forcing him to take the stand.
Osborn also questioned the admissibility of several pieces of evidence. She ruled nothing out, but told prosecutors they would need to provide a good foundation of facts before she would admit any evidence from Hasan's medical education that points towards a gradual progression towards Islamic extremism.
Those pieces of evidence would be used towards establishing a motive and premeditation, Col. Steve Henricks said.
A final pretrial hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday, where the court will seat a jury of 13 Army officers. Opening statements will begin on Tuesday.
Contact Philip Jankowski at email@example.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.