Lawyers decline to put on defense for alleged Ft. Hood shooter
FORT HOOD, Texas — Lawyers for an Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood a year ago declined to put on a defense case yesterday, ending a military hearing to determine whether Maj. Nidal Hasan should face murder charges.
Fort Hood’s senior commander will ultimately decide whether there is enough evidence to try Hasan at a court-martial for opening fire on soldiers Nov. 5, 2009, at a medical processing center for troops deploying to and from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hasan, 40, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. He could face the death penalty.
John P. Galligan, a retired Army colonel and Hasan’s civilian attorney, said he was unable to present a proper defense because the government has denied his requests for internal reports related to the shootings.
“I haven’t been given the evidence I’ve asked for, so I’m not in a position to put on evidence,” he said.
The defense is not required to present a case in an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing. It is not unusual for defense lawyers to refrain from putting on witnesses so they don’t reveal their legal strategy.