Ft. Hood Suspect to Be Isolated in Texas Jail
April 9, 2010 - 4:45 PMThe Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood will be kept isolated from all other inmates at the jail where he was transferred early Friday, the local sheriff said.
Maj. Nidal Hasan was airlifted from a San Antonio military hospital to the Bell County Jail in Belton at about 4 a.m. Friday. He had been at the military hospital since shortly after the Nov. 5 shooting spree that left him paralyzed.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith said Hasan will be kept in a 12-by-15-foot cell in the jail infirmary and be under 24-hour watch. Smith did not say whether Hasan was under guard because of fears for his safety or others.
"I'm just not going to leave anything to chance," the sheriff said.
Hasan will not have contact with other inmates, even when he is accompanied by a jailer to the outdoor recreation area, Smith said.
His cell has a bed, toilet, television and phone that makes collect calls, Smith said. Although Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio barred Hasan from speaking in Arabic to any visitors or reading the Quran, those restrictions will not be in place at the Bell County Jail, Smith said.
Fort Hood authorities - not Bell County deputies - will take Hasan to the nearby Army post for hearings and other matters, he said.
Hasan faces an Article 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury proceeding, as early as July 1. After that, a military judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to go to trial. Prosecutors have not said whether they would seek the death penalty.
Bell County commissioners signed a contract with the military last month to house Hasan. Although the jail usually houses military defendants from nearby Fort Hood, which does not have holding facilities, a special agreement was required for Hasan because "unusual and extraordinary security measures" were necessary, the sheriff has said.
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