By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Killeen Daily Herald
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's Article 32 starts Tuesday morning at Fort Hood.
An Article 32 is a pre-trial hearing where an appointed officer hears evidence and determines whether there is enough for the case to advance to a court-martial. The civilian equivalents of each are a grand jury and trial.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was charged in November with 13 counts of premeditated murder and in December of 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 mass 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 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, according to information from Fort Hood.
The Article 32 hearing is set to last Tuesday through Oct. 29. The officer presiding over this portion of the case, Col. James Pohl, said 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 reconvene Dec. 1, according to information from Fort Hood.
Witnesses for the prosecution and defense are expected to testify starting Tuesday.
Three medical professionals visited the jail Thursday morning to begin Hasan's sanity board 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 that 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.