Judge considers delaying Fort Hood shooting trial
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A military judge on Tuesday said he would consider postponing until October the trial of the Army psychiatrist charged in the deadly Fort Hood shooting rampage.
Maj. Nidal Hasan's attorneys asked that the trial be delayed from June until October, saying they needed more time to review the large volumes of evidence in the case. The judge, Col. Gregory Gross, previously delayed the court-martial from March until June. It's unclear when he will decide on the defense's second request for a postponement.
Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. He faces the death penalty if convicted in the November 2009 shootings on the Texas Army post.
Gross on Tuesday denied a defense motion seeking a Defense Initiated Victim Outreach specialist, Fort Hood officials said. The new program aims to help the defense respond to the needs of survivors and victims' families and possibly change their attitudes if they support the death penalty.
Gross also denied a defense request to force prosecutors to provide notes from meetings and conversations with President Barack Obama, the defense secretary and other high-ranking government officials after the Nov. 5, 2009, shootings. Defense attorneys have said they want to determine if anything was discussed that may have unlawfully influenced Hasan's chain of command to prosecute him.
Prosecutors have insisted no Army officers involved in the case have been influenced by higher ranking officials.
Last week, Gross denied a defense request to remove the death penalty as a punishment option if Hasan is convicted.
The 41-year-old Hasan remains jailed. He is paralyzed from the waist down, the result of being shot by police to end the rampage.